Family care work: A policy-relevant research agenda

Phyllis Moen, Nicole Depasquale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


This article addresses the need for policy-relevant research agendas on family care in transaction with formal care and public as well as organisational norms and policies in light of the crisis in caregiving for older adults. We propose a combined institutional and life-course theoretical approach, suggesting seven ways of organising scholarly enquiry to promote understanding of the changing nature of family care in the 21st century, inform policymakers’ efforts at supporting family caregivers and improve caregivers’ and care recipients’ quality of life. These include: (1) moving beyond snapshots of individuals; (2) conducting comparative cross-cultural and cross-cohort analyses; (3) documenting social heterogeneity, vulnerability and inequality; (4) capturing individuals’ and families’ adaptive strategies and cycles of control during the caregiving process; (5) investigating policy innovations and natural experiments; (6) assessing third parties as mediating institutions between regulatory environments and caregiving families; and (7) attending to the subjective meanings of care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-62
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Care and Caring
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Institute On Aging of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number F31AG050385 to Nicole DePasquale. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Publisher Copyright:
© Policy Press 2017.


  • Care work
  • Context
  • Policy
  • Process


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