Skip header navigation

University of Stirling

×

Article

Issues with the Measurement of Informal Care in Social Surveys: Evidence from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing

Citation
Rutherford AC & Bu F (2018) Issues with the Measurement of Informal Care in Social Surveys: Evidence from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. Ageing and Society, 38 (12), pp. 2541-2559. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0144686X17000757

Abstract
Informal care plays a significant role in the care system for older people in the United Kingdom, and this is projected to increase considerably in the next three decades as the population ages. Understanding these trends requires a good quality measurement of informal care. In this study, we compare care givers’ responses to different informal care questions from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) to investigate the influence of question design on the self-reporting of informal care. We also analyse spousal care dyads in order to model discrepancies in the reporting of care provision between spouses to provide an insight into the reliability of informal care measurements. We find that the most common measures used are likely to be under-estimating both the scale and scope of informal care, and we recommend careful consideration of the content of informal care survey questions in order to operationalise the measures of informal care activities.

Keywords
ageing; informal care; measurement; variable operationalization; social care;

Journal
Ageing and Society: Volume 38, Issue 12

StatusPublished
Author(s)Rutherford, Alasdair C; Bu, Feifei
Publication date01/12/2018
Publication date online11/09/2017
Date accepted by journal05/06/2017
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/25558
PublisherCambridge University Press
ISSN0144-686X
eISSN1469-1779

Research programmes

Research centres/groups

Research themes

Scroll back to the top