Role Ambiguity Among Women Providing Care for Ex-Husbands

Teresa M. Cooney, Christine M. Proulx, Linley A. Snyder-Rivas, Jacquelyn J. Benson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Twenty-one women were interviewed regarding their caregiving experiences for ill or dying ex-husbands. Emergent in the analyses was the variety of ways in which they experienced role ambiguity as ex-wife caregivers. This article describes the role ambiguity ex-wife caregivers encountered interpersonally through interactions with network members, institutionally in dealing with professionals and the workplace, and intrapersonally in confusion over their roles and feelings. Consequences of role ambiguity are discussed, and recommendations for policy and practice are made in light of the aging population, changing family forms, and women's care roles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84-104
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Women and Aging
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014


  • caregiving
  • divorce
  • role ambiguity


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