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Employees’ eldercare demands, strain, and perceived support

Hannes Zacher (School of Psychology, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.)
Heiko Schulz (Department of Personnel Development, Techniker Krankenkasse, Hamburg, Germany.)

Journal of Managerial Psychology

ISSN: 0268-3946

Article publication date: 9 March 2015




In many countries, both the number of older people in need of care and the number of employed caregivers of elderly relatives will increase over the next decades. The purpose of this paper is to examine the extent to which perceived organizational, supervisor, and coworker support for eldercare reduce employed caregivers’ strain and weaken the relationship between eldercare demands and strain.


Survey data were collected from 100 employed caregivers from one organization.


Results showed that eldercare demands were positively related to strain, and perceived organizational eldercare support (POES) was negatively related to strain. In addition, high POES weakened the relationship between eldercare demands and strain.

Research limitations/implications

The cross-sectional design and use of self-report scales constitute limitations of the study.

Practical implications

POES is a resource for employed caregivers, especially when their eldercare demands are high.


This research highlights the relative importance of different forms of perceived support for reducing employed caregivers’ strain and weakening the relationship between eldercare demands and strain.



The authors would like to thank Stefanie Schulze-Johann and Claire Greaves for helping with data collection for this study.


Zacher, H. and Schulz, H. (2015), "Employees’ eldercare demands, strain, and perceived support", Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 30 No. 2, pp. 183-198.



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Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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