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Keywords:

  • intergenerational relationships;
  • geographical distance;
  • proximity;
  • kin relations;
  • migration;
  • living arrangements

Abstract

Much of our knowledge of kin interaction and exchange in Britain is partial, in that it is based on studies of co-resident groups and excludes consideration of kin ‘beyond the household’. It is known that there have been large declines in intergenerational co-residence, raising fears that family bonds have weakened. It is also commonly assumed that family members are less likely to live in close proximity than in the past. In this paper we examine one important aspect of kin relationships – proximity of adult children to their parents – using nationally representative data for 1986, 1995 and 1999. The analyses presented focus on: differences between 1986, 1995 and 1999 in proximity of adults to their parents; socio-demographic characteristics associated with variations in proximity, and temporal differences in the pattern of these variations. The paper concludes with an assessment of some of the policy implications of the findings. Copyright © 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.