The depressive price of being a sandwich-generation caregiver: can organizations and managers help?

Keren Turgeman-Lupo, Sharon Toker, Nili Ben-Avi, Shani Shenhar-Tsarfaty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Our study aimed to investigate for the first time, whether sandwich-generation caregivers, namely those who provide care to both their children and elders, are more likely to experience an increase in depressive symptoms over time, compared with employees who take care of children only, elders only, or who are not caregivers. We also examined whether resource loss in the form of a decrease in health status partially mediated this effect and whether organizational and managerial sources of support can attenuate these direct and indirect effects. Using a two-wave longitudinal design, we followed 1125 Israeli employees for 18 months on average. Controlling for multiple confounders, including indicators of care load and change in caregiving status, we found that sandwich-generation caregivers were indeed more likely to experience an increase in depressive symptoms, compared with all other caregiving statuses. We also found that compared to those who care for children only or to non-caregivers, the effect of SG caregiving was partially attributed to a decrease in health status and that the availability of family-supportive organizational practices and supervisor’s emotional support attenuated the effect of caregiving on depressive symptoms, such that SG caregivers benefited more from these sources of support.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)862-879
Number of pages18
JournalEuropean Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by The Henry Crown Institute of Business Research in Israel fund and the Eli Hurvitz Institute of Strategic Management fund. The authors wish to acknowledge Shlomo Berliner and Itzhak Shapira for their support.  Dr. Turgeman-Lupo and Prof. Toker contributed equally to the paper and share the first authorship.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis.


  • Multigenerational caregiving
  • Sandwich generation caregivers
  • caregiving
  • depression
  • health status
  • organizational support
  • supervisor support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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