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AARP Multicultural Survey July 2001

  • H.

    Feelings about Being in the Middle

    • 1.

      Feeling “Sandwiched”

Eighteen percent of Americans between the ages of 45 and 55 report that they feel stressed because they are “sandwiched between the needs of my immediate family and older relatives.” Predictably, as the responses charted in figure 12 indicate, such feelings run highest among people who live with at least one of their parents or in-laws (34%). The sentiment is shared by 30 percent of those who reside in three-generation households with their children and their parents or in-laws. Others who feel caught in the middle include those who care for their elders, support them financially, or both (30%).

The greatest differences among respondents to this question fall along racial and ethnic lines. Thirty-two percent of Hispanics feel stress from being “family- sandwiched,” as do 28 percent of Asian Americans. But only 19 percent of African Americans and 16 percent of whites express this feeling. Also, older boomers born outside the United States (30%) and those with annual household incomes under $30,000 (27%) most frequently feel “sandwiched.” The percentage of affirmative responses from immigrants may reflect relatively high proportions of Hispanics and Asian Americans in that group.

Prepared for AARP by Belden Russonello & Stewart and Research/Strategy/Management Page 68

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