Intergenerational Support in the Context of Diverse Marriage History in Later Life

Luoman Bao, University of Maryland

The proportion of older adults having experienced divorce and repartnering has substantially increased in the U. S. Analyzing longitudinal data from the Health and Retirement Study (1998-2010), the study conducts random-effects analysis to examine how the timing of divorce and repartnering differentially affects financial support, informal caregiving and willingness of future help that older adults receive from biological and stepchildren. The study finds that divorce and repartnering significant reduces the likelihood of receiving elderly support, with early divorce to be more likely to reduce support from biological children than gray divorce, while repartnering, especially that happened in old age, further lowered the likelihood of receiving support from stepchildren. The study also finds moderating effects of the gender of parents. Early and gray divorce has a larger negative effect for fathers to receive support from biological children, whereas early repartnering brings more disadvantages to mothers in receiving support from stepchildren.

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Presented in Session 199: Family Transitions in Later Life