Stability and change in financial transfers from adult children to older parents

Canadian Journal on Aging = La Revue Canadienne Du Vieillissement
Maximiliane E Szinovacz, Adam Davey


We sought to identify the extent and predictors of longitudinal changes in adult children's financial assistance to parents and in transfer networks over a two-year period. Analyses rely on pooled data from 1994 to 2000 of the Health and Retirement Study, using families in which adult children with no more than four siblings financially supported parents over two years. Change in the help network occurred in about 40 per cent of these families over the two-year period. When change occurred, it most commonly involved cessation of support by a child, followed by addition of another child to the network, whereas exchange of supporting children was relatively rare. Change reflected children's ability to provide care and the burden created by parents' needs. However, the size and composition of the adult-child network and of the initial support group also played an important role. Results highlight the dynamic and systemic nature of intergenerational financial networks.


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