Chances are you know a member of the sandwich generation: someone who is simultaneously providing some kind of care (emotional, financial, material, medical, or otherwise) to his or her children, young or grown, and at least one parent or parent-in-law. These people are known as members of the Sandwich Generation (SG).
What you may not know is that almost 20% of them are under the age of 40, and they span a wide age range, from under 40 to over 60 years old.1 This includes Millennials, Generation X, and the Baby Boomers. They are also the ones who were hardest hit during the pandemic, with more females than males attempting to balance their caregiving responsibilities with their financial constraints. 2 Day-to-day care of their families, work, aging parents, and themselves can present time-consuming and sometimes complicated challenges in the marketplace.
Dr. Cabrini Pak, Assistant Professor of Marketing, wants to know more. What does a day in the life of a sandwich generation member look like? Are there ways that the American marketplace can more thoughtfully design products, services, and environments to alleviate the strain they experience in balancing their responsibilities? What could be improved first and fastest for them? Can these lessons be communicated to industries and academics? Is there room for future research regarding sandwich generation members around the world?
Dr. Pak is currently collecting anonymous narratives from SG members living in the United States. If you or someone you know fits the profile of a SG member, she would love to hear from you! She is looking for as diverse a collection as possible, including men, women, active duty military or veterans and their spouses, married or single, people with or without religious affiliations, and people of all races and across the socioeconomic spectrum. She will be using a combination of tools to analyze the data, using her own design of a relational database to capture, populate, tag, and query narrative fragments from across the sample.
To participate, please fill out the form below (download options vary):
- 2021 Sandwich Generation Survey (Google Drive version)
- 2021 Sandwich Generation Survey (PDF version)
- 2021 Sandwich Generation Survey (Word Version)
Participants can email their anonymous surveys to email@example.com by March 31, 2021. The surveys should not have any names or PII (personally identifiable information) in them, or they will be returned to the sender to request deletion of that info. We are doing this to allow for as much candidness as the narrator wishes to offer.
1 Pew Research Center, “The Sandwich Generation: Rising Financial Burdens for Middle-Aged Americans.” 2013.
2 Michelle Fox, “Rising costs, less in savings: How the pandemic is slamming the ‘sandwich generation’,” CNBC website, accessed Jan 27, 2021, https://www.cnbc.com/2020/11/27/how-the-pandemic-is-slamming-the-sandwich-generation.html.