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Determinants of informal care‐giving in various social relationships in the Netherlands

Objectives: This study investigates determinants for offering help to family members, neighbours and friends, based on the Informal Care Model. Methods: We do so in pooled representative data for the Netherlands collected in 2014 and 2016 (persons >17 years, n = 13,165). Results: One‐third provides informal care to a person with health problems or impairments: partners (4%, n = 671), parents or children (16%, n = 2,381), distant relatives (6%, n = 858), friends or neighbours (6%, n = 839). Marginal effects show differences in the associations of care‐giving relationships with sociodemographic factors, barriers and beliefs. Helping a partner is related to age, gender (older people and men are more likely to help) and household composition (singles help less often). Care for close family is given often by 45–64 year olds, women, multiperson households and those with strong family beliefs. Helping second‐degree relatives correlates with age (young people help more often), barriers (those living with children help less often) and beliefs (people with professional background in care and people who attend church or mosque helping more often). Providing non‐kin care is associated with age and education level (young people less likely to help, people with a high education more likely), barriers (having a fulltime job) and beliefs (work experience in care, church or mosque attendance and norms). The supply of care to partners and close family is mainly associated with sociodemographic factors and barriers while the provision of care to distant family and non‐kin is also correlated with beliefs. Conclusions: If desirable policy is to create more informal care, investment in the combination of work and informal care, childcare and supportive arrangements for older community living couples is recommended. It also might be worthwhile to enhance beliefs about the usefulness of helping each other in times of need.

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Health & Social Care in the Community
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