Following Reher’s (1998) seminal paper on family ties in western Europe, the perspective that family solidarity patterns are divided along the lines of an individualistic north and a familialistic south has dominated the research literature. We challenge this view and address variability in intergenerational family solidarity within and across countries. Using multiple dimensions of intergenerational solidarity drawn from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe, we develop a typology of late-life families which is robust across northern, central and southern regions. The four types are (a) descending familialism: living nearby, frequent contact, endorsement of family obligation norms, and primarily help in kind from parents to children, (b) ascending familialism: living nearby, frequent contact, endorsement of family obligation norms, and primarily help in kind from children to parents, (c) supportive at distance: not living nearby, frequent contact, refutation of family obligation norms, and primarily financial transfers from parents to adult children, (d) autonomous: not living nearby, little contact, refutation of family obligation norms, and few support exchanges. The four types are prevalent in each European country, though their distribution differs. Our findings suggest that scholars should move beyond the idea that a particular country is best characterized by a single dominant type of late-life family. Sociodemographic differentials in family type follow predictable patterns, underscoring the validity of the developed typology.
|Originele taal-2||Niet gedefinieerd|
|Plaats van productie||The Hague and Rotterdam|
|Uitgeverij||Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI) and Erasmus University|
|Status||Gepubliceerd - 2011|