Solidarity between parents and adult children in Europe: intra- and inter country variation of intergenerational solidarity and its determinants

Susan ter Bekke, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI)
Pearl Dykstra, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI)
Tineke Fokkema, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI)

It is often assumed that intergenerational solidarity is stronger in southern European countries than in northern European countries. The traditional large families in Italy and Spain portray an image of high levels of contact and exchange of support, whereas the smaller families in Sweden and Denmark portray individualism and less solidarity. In order to study the variation in intergenerational solidarity in Europe SHARE (Survey of Health, Aging and Retirement in Europe) data will be used. In 2004 more than 22,000 individuals at the age of 50 and older were interviewed in eleven European countries (Italy, Spain and Greece in Southern Europe; France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland in Central Europe; Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark in Northern Europe). With the use of this dataset we will examine the relations between parents and their adult children. Using latent class analysis a typology of intergenerational solidarity will be developed, considering four areas of solidarity: structural (geographic proximity), associational (contact frequency), functional (transfer of material and immaterial support) and normative (familial obligations). This typology will help us to get a better understanding of the variations between and within European countries. Additional multivariate analyses will explain the extent to which socio-demographic characteristics at the individual level of both parents and children differentiate the derived intergenerational types.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Session 33: Ageing and Intergenerational Relationships