Author: Wong, Kit Yu
Title: An exploratory study on the experience of older husband caregivers in Hong Kong
Advisors: Bai, Xue (APSS)
Tsui, Ming Sum (APSS)
Degree: DSW
Year: 2021
Subject: Older caregivers -- China -- Hong Kong
Male caregivers -- China -- Hong Kong
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Department of Applied Social Sciences
Pages: xi, 280 pages : color illustrations
Language: English
Abstract: Population ageing is a worldwide phenomenon, and caregiving to older people has become a remarkable global challenge. Older husbands have increasingly assumed caregiver role in later life marriage, yet they are a less visible subgroup of family caregivers. In both social and academic discourse, caregiving is generally described as a feminine role, and as an experience full of stresses and hardships. Limited knowledge is available on the subjective experiences of local older husband caregivers.
This is an exploratory study using qualitative research methods to examine the caregiving experience of older husband caregivers from their perspectives. It aims to understand their personal appraisal of caregiving role, how they cope with the care demands, the meanings ascribed to their caregiving situations and how they continue as caregivers. Purposive sampling was employed to recruit 15 local Chinese husbands living with their wives who are dependent on their care due to physical or cognitive impairments. Semi-structured in-depth interviewing was adopted as the primary means of data collection. Based on thematic analysis with an inductive approach, eight major themes were derived: 1) Occupied by heavy care duties, 2) Frustrated by multiple losses, 3) Struggling with multiple stressors in later life, 4) Informal support undergoing transformation, 5) Preference and hesitancy about using formal services, 6) Marital bond and commitment as husband, 7) Self-esteem and self-efficacy as man, and 8) Acceptance and adaptation in adversity.
The findings indicate that older husbands experience challenges and stresses over the course of caregiving, yet they demonstrate strong devotion, coping flexibility, and immense adaptability. They also strive to sustain their role by finding meanings and positives in caregiving. Spousal caregiving is constructed as endeavours occurring in a lifelong relationship on the basis of marital commitment, as a representation of love and obligations, a social role, and an occupation within a gendered sociocultural context. The results affirm the significance of understanding the multidimensional nature of caregiving in later life marriage, and the intertwined social construction processes of caregiving, gender, and culture. Male caregiving represents other ways of being a man beyond traditional conception of masculinity by re-constructing gender identities. This study may contribute to knowledge building in the local caregiving literature, and shed light on interventions to support caregivers.
Rights: All rights reserved
Access: restricted access

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
6372.pdfFor All Users (off-campus access for PolyU Staff & Students only)2.7 MBAdobe PDFView/Open

Copyright Undertaking

As a bona fide Library user, I declare that:

  1. I will abide by the rules and legal ordinances governing copyright regarding the use of the Database.
  2. I will use the Database for the purpose of my research or private study only and not for circulation or further reproduction or any other purpose.
  3. I agree to indemnify and hold the University harmless from and against any loss, damage, cost, liability or expenses arising from copyright infringement or unauthorized usage.

By downloading any item(s) listed above, you acknowledge that you have read and understood the copyright undertaking as stated above, and agree to be bound by all of its terms.

Show full item record

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: