The Effect of Education of Adult Children on the Mortality of Their Elderly Parents

Zachary Zimmer, Population Council
Linda G. Martin, Institute of Medicine
Yi-Li Chuang, Bureau of Health Promotion, Taiwan

A body of research shows an older adult’s education is an important mortality determinant. But, in societies such as Taiwan, where families are highly integrated, it is possible that education of family members also influences survival. Such may particularly be the case in settings with large gaps in levels of education across generations and high levels of resource transfers between family members. This study employs fourteen years of longitudinal data from Taiwan to examine combined effects of education of older adults and their children on mortality outcomes of older adults. Hazard models using Gompertz curves for baseline survival are employed to determine whose education is important in determining survival, whether the education of a child has an influence over and above the education of the parent, and whether the education of parent and child have joint or separate influences on survival probabilities.

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Presented in Session 35: Family and Health Over the Life Course