The late life legacy of leaving home

Thomas Leopold, University of Bamberg

This study investigated how earlier patterns of leaving home affected parent-child relations in later life. We proposed different pathways (relationship quality, structural opportunities, long-term reciprocity, and processes of mutual socialization) by which the time spent in the parental home may set the stage for intergenerational solidarity in aging families. Using fixed-effects models with data from SHARE (N = 7,630 parent-child dyads), we assessed the effects of earlier coresidence on intergenerational proximity, contact frequency, and support exchange more than a decade after children had left home. We found that compared to siblings who moved out "on time", late home leavers lived closer to their aging parents, maintained more frequent contact, and were more likely be providers as well as receivers of intergenerational support. Overall, this evidence paints a positive picture of extended coresidence, revealing its potential of strengthening intergenerational ties across the life course.

Presented in Session 81: Intergenerational support at older ages