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Are mothers and daughters most important? How gender, childhood family dissolution and parents’ present living arrangements affect personal care of parents.

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posted on 20.01.2020, 10:44 by Linda Kridahl, Ann-Zofie Duvander
The study examines adult children’s propensity to provide personal care to older parents in Sweden by gender of adult child, parental breakup in childhood and parent’s living arrangements. Data are from the Swedish Generations and Gender Survey from 2012/2013. OLS regression analyses examined personal care separately for mother and fathers. Adult daughters are more likely than sons to provide personal care to older mothers and fathers. Parental breakup in childhood does not lead to differences in personal care. The only exception being that daughters who experience breakup provide more care for their mothers. Children, especially daughters, help lone parents more often than other parents, but children’s care provision does not differ for parents living with the other parent and re-partnered parents. Gender of adult child and parent’s living arrangements operate in slightly different ways regarding care provided for mothers and fathers, and living arrangements represent a central predictor for whether children provide filial care. Particularly, the dominant kinship pattern is care provided from daughters to mother and through the mother’s line and to parents in vulnerable situations. The study discusses the results in relation to intergenerational solidarity theory, matrilineal care system and policy outlooks.


The Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet) via The Linneaus Center on Social Policy and Family Dynamics in Europe (SPaDE), grant number 349-2007-8701.




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