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This study examined the determinants of caregiving burden among South Koreans who care for their disabled older family members. A sample of 1,000 primary caregivers taken from the Comprehensive Study for Elderly Welfare Policy in Seoul, South Korea was analyzed. Independent variables included the demographic characteristics of caregivers and care recipients, the severity of cognitive impairment among care recipients, care recipients' functional abilities, financial adequacy and caregivers' degree of social support. Hierarchical regression was used to predict the levels of caregivers' burden. Similar to western care providers, South Korean caregivers who were in poor health and who had little informal social support, inadequate financial resources and more weekly caregiving hours were more likely to experience intense caregiving burden. Burden was also positively related to the functional and cognitive disabilities of care recipients. The results of this study indicate that certain aspects of caregiving are unique to South Koreans. Daughters-in-law were the most common caregiver within the sample which indicates that South Korean eldercare is non-consanguineous. Identifying predictors of South Korean caregivers' burden promotes a more comprehensive understanding of cultural experiences in caring for older adults.


This article was originally published in the International Journal of Aging and Human Development. Copyright © 2007 Baywood Publishing.

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