The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of parental marital status, marital history, and family type on intergenerational living arrangements and adult children's time and cash transfers to their unpartnered disabled elderly parents.
We used data from the Asset and Health Dynamics Among the Oldest Old survey to estimate the joint probabilities that an adult child provides time and/or cash transfers to a parent and to analyze a five-level categorical variable capturing parent-child living arrangements.
The estimates suggest significant detrimental effects of parental divorce and step relationship on time transfers and on the probability of coresidence with the index child.
Family type, as captured by the composition of the index child's sibling network according to kin relationship to the parent, also affected transfers and living arrangement choices of adult children.
The findings that transfers from adult children to their unpartnered disabled elderly parents depend on parental marital status and kin relationship suggest that changing family patterns are altering the traditional role of the family as a support network.
These findings raise concerns about the care likely to be available to future cohorts of elderly persons who will have experienced substantially higher rates of divorce, remarriage, and step parenthood than the cohort considered in this study.
The journals of gerontology. Series B, Psychological sciences and social sciences
Department of Medicine and Health Policy Institute, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI 53226, USA. lpezzin [at] mcw.edu
J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2008 Nov;63(6):S349-58
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