Intergenerational Exchange and Expected Support Among the Young-Old

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Abstract

The authors used data from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (N = 5,023) to determine how 3 attributes of intergenerational exchange (content, direction, and recency) are associated with older adults' expected sick care and comfort from their adult children. They found more like–kind associations (expecting same types of support that had been exchanged before) than spillover associations (expecting different types of support than that had been exchanged before). Same patterns of like–kind associations were found for expected sick care and comfort regardless of the direction and recency of exchange, but expected sick care and comfort had different patterns of spillover associations. Specifically, recent emotional transfer, upward or downward, was related to expected sick care, but only recent upward instrumental transfer was related to expected comfort. This study advances the gerontological literature by elucidating the complex relations between each of the 3 attributes of intergenerational exchange and expected support among older adults.

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