Moving from Household Structure to Living Arrangement Transitions: What Do We Learn?

Albert Hermalin, University of Michigan
Mary Beth Ofstedal, University of Michigan
Kristine R. Baker, University of Michigan
Yi-Li Chuang, Bureau of Health Promotion, Taiwan

Household structure, and particularly coresidence with children, is one of the most widely used indicators of elderly well-being. Most studies have focused on household structure at a given point in time or on aggregate trends over time. The prevalence measures typically used may be misleading as to the underlying transitions into and out of coresidence. The primary objectives of this paper are to evaluate these inherent ambiguities in the relationship between coresidence prevalence measures and the transition levels, and to investigate transitions in coresidence with married children among elderly in Taiwan. The paper uses data from five waves of the Survey of Health and Living Status of the Elderly in Taiwan (1989-2003), a nationally representative panel survey, employing both multivariate regression and multistate lifetable methods to examine transitions in coresidence with regard to their underlying rates, implications for ‘coresidence life expectancy’, and the factors that predict transitions in and out of coresidence.

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Presented in Session 63: Aging and Household Structure in Developing Countries