Changing contexts of family and intergenerational family support

Merril Silverstein, University of Southern California
Carin Lennartsson, Karolinska Institutet and Stockholm University
Johan Fritzell, Karolinska Institutet and Stockholm University

Despite the maturation of welfare states, family solidarity continues to be strong and mutual intergenerational support is a central part of many, if not all most families. How intergenerational support late in life has changed in Sweden as a result of the changing context of family life is unclear. It is also unclear if and how it affects each child within the same family. This study examines intergenerational intra-family financial and social support in Sweden, in the form of money transaction and instrumental support. The first question to be addressed is whether there is a difference between stable and disrupted families in intergenerational support? The second question is whether there is a genetic basis for supportive exchanges? That is, are financial transfers more likely to go to biological children? And are biological children more likely to help and care for older parents than non-biological children? Using data from two a nationally representative surveys - the Swedish panel study of living conditions of the oldest old (SWEOLD) and the Level of living study (LNU), the results will discuss long-term consequences of changes in the family structure on later intergenerational intra-family support. We will also discuss the findings from a class and gender perspective in the context of the Swedish welfare state.

Presented in Session 81: Intergenerational support at older ages