Journal Article

Cross-national Differences in Intergenerational Family Relations: The Influence of Public Policy Arrangements

Pearl A Dykstra

in Innovation in Aging

Volume 2, issue 1
Published online January 2018 | e-ISSN: 2399-5300 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/geroni/igx032

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  • Geriatric Medicine
  • Cell Biology
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  • Care of the Elderly
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Abstract

Focusing mostly on Europe, this overview reveals how the research on cross-national differences in intergenerational family relations has moved from basic descriptions to a focus on understanding how support exchanges are shaped by macro-level processes. A key issue concerns generational interdependence, the extent to which public policy arrangements impose reliance on older and younger family members or enable individual autonomy. Real theoretical progress is visible in three areas of research. The first pertains to analyses at the micro level of how family members actually respond to the incentives that different macro contexts provide. The generosity or restrictedness of public provisions variably releases or necessitates normative obligations in interdependent family relationships. The second area of progress involves analyses of the implications of specific policies rather than policy packages for gender and socioeconomic inequality. The third area of progress is a more nuanced view on the familialism–individualism divide. These three areas provide inspiring examples for future investigations.

Keywords: Intergenerational family relations; Interdependence; Cross-national; Europe; Policy

Journal Article.  5896 words. 

Subjects: Geriatric Medicine ; Cell Biology ; Geropsychology ; Care of the Elderly ; Gerontology and Ageing

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