"Adult children providing support to their aging parents: mixed motives over the family life course" with Prof Merril Silverstein

26 February 2016

This presentation explores the question of why adult children provide support and care to their older parents. Absent strong bio-evolutionary hypotheses, the effort to understand these motives has largely focused on social explanations, primarily those related to social-affective connections and the norm of reciprocity. Using data from a multi-panel and multi-generational data set, Professor Silverstein presents evidence for long-term reciprocity and family culture as forces that drive support provision from children. He then theoretically integrates micro-family interactions within the broader social contexts of culture and the welfare state to develop an emergent framework of intergenerational exchanges under the concept of moral capital.