Child Care Provided by Older Immigrant Women: The Effect of Time since Arrival

Alma Vega, University of Pennsylvania

Elderly immigrants constitute an increasing share of new legal admits to the United States. While many are financially dependent on their families upon arrival, a more complete picture requires taking into account the non-monetary contributions of this population. Qualitative studies suggest that older adults sometimes travel to the U.S. from abroad to care for young grandchildren, allowing their adult children to remain in the labor force. Using the American Time Use Survey, the present study examines whether recent immigrant status is a significant predictor of the amount of time spent caring for non-own children without pay. Preliminary results suggest that recently-arrived older women provide more minutes of child care per day than native-born women and their more established immigrant counterparts. These results may signal reciprocal supportive networks within immigrant households whereby working-age adults financially support newly-arrived immigrant elderly while newly-arrived immigrant elderly provide unremunerated child care for working-age adults.

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Presented in Poster Session 1: Marriage, Unions, Families, and Households