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The influence of socio-economic and health differences on parents' provision of help to adult children: a British–United States comparison

  • JOHN C. HENRETTA (a1), EMILY GRUNDY (a2) and SUSAN HARRIS (a2)
Abstract

Transfers of assistance from older to younger family members are an important, though often ignored, component of intergenerational exchanges. The ability to help younger family members, either financially or practically, may be influenced by the health and socio-economic status of older parents, but very little is known about these patterns. This article examines the effects of socio-economic and health status on the help that late mid-life parents in Britain and the United States give their children with money, domestic tasks, and grandchild care. Results for the different types of family support yield three main findings. First, there are relatively few differences between Britain and the USA in the factors affecting the provision of support. Secondly, socio-economic factors appear to be more important among married respondents while health is more important among the unmarried. Thirdly, children's co-residence has greater effects on the provision of domestic task help in Britain than in the United States.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
John Henretta, Department of Sociology, Box 117330, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32611-7330, USA. e-mail: henretta@ufl.edu
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Ageing & Society
  • ISSN: 0144-686X
  • EISSN: 1469-1779
  • URL: /core/journals/ageing-and-society
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