Social Support: Can It Be Too Much?

Valeria Bordone, University of Mannheim

Research on intergenerational relationships usually assumes that higher child-parent solidarity stands for strong family ties and may predict well-being through several pathways. In this study, I challenge the persistent belief of a linear positive association between supports that adult children provide to elderly parents and the sense of control that parents hold on their own lives. Focusing on three support dimensions (informational-appraisal, emotional, instrumental), my research question refers to whether solidarity can be ‘‘too much of a good thing’’ for the beneficiary parent and ‘‘too much of a burden’’ when the parent is the giver. In contrast to previous studies, fixed-effects regression models applied to panel data from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) control for selection in support due to changes in older people´s health. The analysis also accounts for intergenerational conflict. Results indicate a curvilinear association between child´s support and locus of control of the parent.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Poster Session 1