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Adult children stepping in? Long-term care reforms and trends in children's provision of household support to impaired parents in the Netherlands

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 August 2017

THIJS VAN DEN BROEK*
Affiliation:
ALPHA Research Unit, Department of Social Policy, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK.
PEARL A. DYKSTRA
Affiliation:
Department of Public Administration and Sociology, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
ROMKE J. VAN DER VEEN
Affiliation:
Department of Public Administration and Sociology, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
*
Address for correspondence: Thijs van den Broek, London School of Economics and Political Science, ALPHA Research Unit, Department of Social Policy, Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE, UK E-mail: m.p.van-den-broek@lse.ac.uk

Abstract

Recent long-term care (LTC) reforms in the Netherlands are illustrative of those taking place in countries with a universalistic LTC model based on extensive provision of state-supported services. They entail a shift from de-familialisation, in which widely available state-supported LTC services relieve family members from the obligations to care for relatives in need, to supported familialism, in which family involvement in care-giving is fostered through support and recognition for families in keeping up their caring responsibilities. Using data from four waves of the Netherlands Kinship Panel Study (N = 2,197), we show that between 2002 and 2014 the predicted probability that adult children provide occasional household support to impaired parents rose substantially. Daughters more often provided household support to parents than did sons, but no increase in the gender gap over time was found. We could not attribute the increase in children's provision of household support to drops in the use of state-supported household services. The finding that more and more adult children are stepping in to help their ageing parents fits a more general trend in the Netherlands of increasing interactions in intergenerational families.

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Article
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Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2017 

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