Living Arrangements of Mothers and Their Adult Children Over the Life Course.
ABSTRACT: Early in the last century, it was commonplace for elderly women to live with their adult children. Over time, the prevalence of this type of living arrangement declined, as incomes increased. In more recent decades, coresidence between adult children and their retirement-age parents has become more common, as children rely on parental support later into adulthood. We use panel data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics to examine the living arrangements of older mothers and their adult children over the life course. We pay particular attention to the relationship between coresidence and indicators of parental and child needs. Our results suggest that for much of the life course, coresidence serves to benefit primarily the adult children rather than their older mother. We also highlight a little known phenomenon, that of children who never leave the parental home and remain coresident well into their later adult years.
Project description:Although many studies have examined contemporary increases in parent-adult child coresidence, questions about what this demographic shift means for the well-being of parents remain. This article draws on insights from the life course perspective to investigate the relationship between parent-adult child coresidence and parental mental health among U.S. adults ages 50+, distinguishing between parents stably living with and without adult children and those who transitioned into or out of coresidence with an adult child. Based on analyses of the 2008 to 2012 waves of the Health and Retirement Study (<i>N</i> = 11,277), parents with a newly coresidential adult child experienced an increase in depressive symptoms relative to their peers without coresidential adult children. Further analyses suggest that transitions to coresidence that occurred in the southern United States or involved out-of-work children were particularly depressing for parents. These findings highlight the significance of evolving intergenerational living arrangements for the well-being of older adults.
Project description:<h4>Objectives</h4>Since the Great Recession, the proportion of young adults living with their parents has risen steadily in the United States. Research on coresidence with adult children and parental marital quality is mixed, but marital quality may suffer if children coreside under certain circumstances. When coresidence signifies a deviation from normative expectations, it may be a source of stress in parents' marriages. Further, living with adult children who are suffering problems may be especially detrimental to parental marital quality.<h4>Method</h4>Middle-aged parents (N = 287; mean age = 50.65) completed measures of marital quality, child problems, and coresidence at 2 time points, at the onset of the Great Recession in 2008 and again in 2013.<h4>Results</h4>Regression analyses estimating marital quality from coresidence status revealed that coresidence with a child was associated with lower parental marital quality in 2008, but not in 2013 (when it may be considered more normative to have adult children living in the home). Additional analyses showed living with a child who was suffering problems was associated with lower marital quality in 2013.<h4>Discussion</h4>These findings suggest that coresidence may be detrimental to marital quality, but perhaps only when coresidence is nonnormative or when coresidence co-occurs with child problems.
Project description:Background and Objectives:Parents who experience life events with negative economic consequences may rely on adult children for financial assistance. This study provided national estimates of Black and White mothers' financial help from adult children. It also examined whether the Black-White difference in the likelihood of a mother's receipt of financial assistance persisted after accounting for life events reflecting parental need and children's ability to provide help. Research Design and Methods:The Health and Retirement Study was used to examine late middle aged (51-70) Black and White mothers' financial help from adult children. Cross-sectional point estimates of financial help from noncoresident and coresident children were based on pooling these data. Random effects logistic regression at the mother-wave level was used to estimate the likelihood of receipt of financial assistance from noncoresident children. Results:On average, 9% (8%) of Blacks and 3% (4%) of Whites reported help from noncoresident (coresident) children in a given interview wave, but Blacks received lower amounts. Changes signifying greater parental financial need and noncoresident children's greater resources were positively associated with receiving financial help from noncoresident children. After accounting for these factors, race differences remained. Discussion and Implications:Black mothers are more likely to rely on children for financial help than Whites. Since this help hinges on the ability of their children to provide, the strength of Blacks' economic safety net as they age also depends on the socioeconomic well-being of the younger generation.
Project description:Research has shown that parents with higher socioeconomic status provide more resources to their children during childhood and adolescence. The authors asked whether similar effects associated with parental socioeconomic position are extended to adult children. Middle-aged parents (N = 633) from the Family Exchanges Study reported support they provided to their grown children and coresidence with grown children (N = 1,384). Parents with higher income provided more emotional and material support to the average children. Grown children of parents with less education were more likely to coreside with them. Parental resources (e.g., being married) and demands (e.g., family size) explained these patterns. Of interest is that lower income parents provided more total support to all children (except total financial support). Lower income families may experience a double jeopardy; each grown child receives less support on average, but parents exert greater efforts providing more total support to all their children.
Project description:As rents have risen and wages have not kept pace, housing affordability in the United States has declined over the last 15 years, impacting the housing and living arrangements of low-income families. Housing subsidies improve the housing situations of low-income families, but less than one in four eligible families receive a voucher. In this article, we analyze whether one of the largest anti-poverty programs in the United States-the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)-affects the housing (eviction, homelessness, and affordability) and living arrangements (doubling up, number of people in the household, and crowding) of low-income families. Using the Current Population Survey, the American Community Survey/decennial census, and the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, we employ a parameterized difference-in-differences strategy to examine whether policy-induced expansions to the EITC affect the housing and living arrangements of single mothers. Results suggest that a $1,000 increase in the EITC improves housing by reducing housing cost burdens, but it has no effect on eviction or homelessness. Increases in the EITC also reduce doubling up (living with additional, nonnuclear family adults)-in particular, doubling up in someone else's home-and reduce three-generation/multigenerational coresidence, suggesting that mothers have a preference to live independently. We find weak evidence for a reduction in overall household size, yet the EITC does reduce household crowding. Although the EITC is not an explicit housing policy, expansions to the EITC are generally linked with improved housing outcomes for single mothers and their children.
Project description:Unstable couple relationships and high rates of repartnering have increased the share of U.S. families with stepkin. Yet data on stepfamily structure are from earlier periods, include only coresident stepkin, or cover only older adults. In this study, we use new data on family structure and transfers in the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) to describe the prevalence and numbers of stepparents and stepchildren for adults of all ages and to characterize the relationship between having stepkin and transfers of time and money between generations, regardless of whether the kin live together. We find that having stepparents and stepchildren is very common among U.S. households, especially younger households. Furthermore, stepkin substantially increase the typical household's family size; stepparents and stepchildren increase a household's number of parents and adult children by nearly 40 % for married/cohabiting couples with living parents and children. However, having stepkin is associated with fewer transfers, particularly time transfers between married women and their stepparents and stepchildren. The increase in the number of family members due to stepkin is insufficient to compensate for the lower likelihood of transfers in stepfamilies. Our findings suggest that recent cohorts with more stepkin may give less time assistance to adult children and receive less time assistance from children in old age than prior generations.
Project description:<h4>Objectives</h4>Black Americans typically experience the death of a parent earlier in the life course than do non-Hispanic Whites, and early parental death is known to hinder subsequent relationship outcomes. Whether early parental death may contribute to racial differences in midlife family relationships and the role midlife adults' current life problems play remain unexplored.<h4>Method</h4>Using multilevel modeling, we examined how timing of parental death is associated with relationship strain with adult children and whether the association differs by midlife adults' life problems in Black (n = 166) and non-Hispanic White (n = 467) families from the Family Exchanges Study.<h4>Results</h4>Losing a parent in childhood was associated with more relationship strain with adult children for Black midlife adults, but not for their non-Hispanic White counterparts. Among the bereaved, earlier timing of parental death was associated with more relationship strain with adult children only for Black midlife adults. In both bereaved and nonbereaved sample, participants' recent physical-emotional problems exacerbated the link between timing of parental death and relationship strain with adult children for Black midlife adults.<h4>Discussion</h4>Experiencing the death of a parent in the early life course can be an added structural disadvantage that imposes unique challenges for Black Americans in midlife. Policies and programs aimed at supporting bereaved children may benefit relationships with their own children later in life, and addressing physical-emotional problems in midlife may be a viable intervention point for those midlife adults who experienced the death of a parent in the early life course.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:We extend existing research on the living arrangements of older Americans by focusing on geographic proximity to children, examining transitions in living arrangements across older ages, and describing differences by both race/ethnicity and educational attainment. METHOD:We use data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) over a period of 10 years (2000-2010) to construct multistate life tables. These analyses allow us to describe the lives of older Americans between ages 65 and 90 in terms of the number of expected years of life in different living arrangements, reflecting both mortality and living arrangement transitions. RESULTS:Americans spend a substantial proportion of later life living near, but not with, adult children. There is a good deal of change in living arrangements at older ages and living arrangement-specific life expectancy differs markedly by race/ethnicity and educational attainment. However, overall life expectancy is not strongly related to living arrangements at age 65. DISCUSSION:Multistate life tables, constructed separately by sex, race/ethnicity, and educational attainment, provide a comprehensive description of sociodemographic differences in living arrangements across older ages in the United States. We discuss the potential implications of these differences for access to support and the exacerbation or mitigation of inequalities at older ages.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Parental separation has been associated with adverse child mental health outcomes in the literature. For school-aged children, joint physical custody (JPC), that is, spending equal time in both parents' homes after a divorce, has been associated with better health and well-being than single care arrangements. Preschool children's well-being in JPC is less studied. The aim of this study was to investigate the association of living arrangements and coparenting quality with mental health in preschool children after parental separation.<h4>Methods</h4>This cross-sectional population-based study includes 12 845 three-year-old children in Sweden. Mental health was measured by parental reports of the Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire and coparenting quality with a four-item scale. The living arrangements of the 642 children in non-intact families were categorised into JPC, living mostly with one parent and living only with one parent.<h4>Results</h4>Linear regression models, adjusted for sociodemographic confounders, showed an association between increased mental health problems and living mostly and only with one parent (B=1.18; 95% CI 0.37 to 2.00, and B=1.20; 95% CI 0.40 to 2.00, respectively), while children in intact families vs JPC did not differ significantly (B=-0.11; 95% CI -0.58 to 0.36). After adjusting the analyses for coparenting quality, differences in child mental health between the post divorce living arrangements were, however, minimal while children in intact families had more mental health problems compared with JPC (B=0.70; 95% CI 0.24 to 1.15). Factorial analysis of covariance revealed that low coparenting quality was more strongly related to mental health problems for children in intact families and JPC compared with children living mostly or only with one parent.<h4>Conclusions</h4>This study suggests that coparenting quality is a key determinant of mental health in preschool children and thus should be targeted in preventive interventions.
Project description:Parents play a key role in launching their children into adulthood. Differences in the resources they provide their children have implications for perpetuating patterns of family inequality. Using data on 6,962 young adults included in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997, we examine differences in the support parents provide to young adult children by immigrant status and race/ethnicity and whether and how those differences are explained by parent resources and young adult resources and roles. Immigrant status and race/ethnicity are associated with patterns of support in complex ways. We find that racial/ethnic and immigrant disparities in perceptions of support, financial support, and receiving advice from parents about education or employment are explained by family socioeconomic resources. Group differences in whether young adults say they would turn to a parent for advice and coresidence persist after accounting for these factors, however. Young adult resources and roles also shape parental support of young adults in the transition to adulthood, but taking account of these characteristics does not explain immigrant and racial/ethnic group differences. Our findings highlight the need to consider both race/ethnicity and immigrant status to understand family relationships and sources of support.