Apr 15

Dissertation Defense: The Capability of Arab Muslim American Women to Care for Older Adults

Monday, April 15, 2024

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Categories: Student presentation

The Department of Disability and Human Development presents a dissertation defense.

The Capability of Arab Muslim American Women to Care for Older Adults by disability student doctoral candidate Randa Abdelrahim.

Zoom Info
Meeting ID: 892 0823 7657
Passcode: W08m6LyQ

The capability approach (CA), a theoretical framework of well-being, explores the impact of policies on the well-being of individuals. Previous research using the CA has illustrated that family caregiving is a valued activity that contributes to well-being. However, research on understanding the impact of policies on preserving the opportunity to be a family caregiver for older adults is inadequate. In particular, research examining policies impacting family caregiving for Arab American Muslim women remains scarce. Therefore, this study explores the impact of family caregiving policies on shaping the opportunity to care for older adults among Arab American Muslim women in Cook County suburbs.

Guided by institutional ethnography, this study was conducted in two phases. In the initial phase, interviews with ten Arab American women were conducted to identify the value of caregiving and barriers to accessing community resources. In the second phase, interviews with three providers and an environmental scan of existing resources and policies were conducted to identify relevant documents that shape the family caregiving system in Illinois. The analysis of both phases revealed barriers to the opportunity to be a family caregiver for older adults. Arab American women lacked familiarity with services for caregivers and often utilized paid caregiving as a resource to support themselves. Further barriers included the limited availability of culturally meaningful services, which hindered the participants’ ability to participate in meaningful activities beyond caregiving. In addition, the results showed that the processes outlined in service regulations, which are established policies, do not necessarily support the opportunity to be a family caregiver for Arab American Muslim women.

This study highlights how examining the well-being of individuals in relation to what they value provides insights into the impact of policies on accessing services. By adopting a CA lens, policymakers can better understand structural disparities such as these embedded in the processes to access services, that hinder access to services for Arab caregivers. The discussion also includes caregiving as a valued activity from a social justice perspective embedded in the CA lens.

For individuals needing access accommodations, please send an email to DHDOSA@uic.edu as soon as possible.


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