(HealthDay News) — The gender of siblings appears to influence parent caregiving, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, held from August 16–19 in San Francisco.

Angelina Grigoryeva, of Princeton University in New Jersey, used a large, nationally representative dataset to examine the effects of gender within sibling networks on the sharing of caregiving responsibilities for aging parents in the United States.

Grigoryeva found that daughters provide more care to elderly parents than sons, net of other factors. The care provided by daughters seems to be more elastic than that provided by sons with regard to constraints and resources related to parent caregiving. Also, not only the gender of the focal child, but also the gender of his or her siblings appears to be important in explaining patterns in parent caregiving.

“Whereas the amount of elderly parent care daughters provide is associated with constraints they face, such as employment or child care, sons’ caregiving is associated only with the presence or absence of other helpers, such as sisters or a parent’s spouse,” Grigoryeva said in a statement.

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