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Keywords:

  • caregiving;
  • gender;
  • informal support;
  • intergenerational support;
  • retirement

This article uses recent data from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (N = 5,220) to explore gender differences in the extent to which adults in their 50s and 60s provide informal help to their adult children, elderly parents, and friends. We find that both men and women report very high levels of helping kin and nonkin alike, although women do more to assist elderly parents, and women provide much more emotional support to others than do men. Men provide more assistance than women with housework, yard work, and repairs. As they retire from the workforce, married men become significantly more involved in the care of their grandchildren, which virtually eliminates any gender difference by the time they are in their 60s.