Full-Time Caregiving During COVID-19 Based on Minority Identifications, Generation, and Vaccination Status


Purpose: This study compared different types of full-time caregiver (e.g., children, older adults, COVID-19 patients) and subgroups (e.g., disability, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation) in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic for potentially meaningful distinctions.

Methodology/Approach: Data from the 9,854 full-time caregivers identified in Phase 3.2 (July 21–October 11, 2021) of the US Census Household Pulse Survey (HPS) were analyzed in this study using multinomial logistic regression to examine relationships between caregiver types, marginalized subgroups, generation, and vaccination status.

Findings: The prevalence of caregiving was low, but the type of full-time caregiving performed varied by demographic group (i.e., disability, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, generation, and vaccination status). The relative risk of being a COVID-19 caregiver remained significant for being a member of each of the marginalized groups examined after all adjustments.

Limitations/Implications: To date, the HPS has not been analyzed to predict the type of full-time informal caregiving performed during the COVID-19 pandemic or their characteristics. Research limitations of this analysis include the cross-sectional, experimental dataset employed, as well as some variable measurement issues.

Originality/Value of Paper: Prior informal caregiver research has often focused on the experiences of those caring for older adults or children with special healthcare needs. It may be instructive to learn whether and how informal caregivers excluded from paid employment during infectious disease outbreaks vary in meaningful ways from those engaged in other full-time caregiving. Because COVID-19 magnified equity concerns, examining demographic differences may also facilitate customization of pathways to post-caregiving workforce integration.

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Social Factors, Health Care Inequities and Vaccination


Emerald Publishing Limited

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© 2023 Erica S. Jablonski, Chris R. Surfus and Megan Henly