Balancing Work and Family Responsibility: Provision of Transfers from Late-Middle-Aged Working Adult Children to Their Elderly Mothers

Ching-Yi A. Shieh, University of Maryland

Using the 1992 and 1996 Health and Retirement Study, this project incorporates gender norms and adult children’s labor force participation constraints to assess the gendered division of transfer practices. The result shows these are a by-product of the gendered labor force structure, where men’s wage advantages allow them to use money as transfer tokens, whereas women who lack sufficient financial resources to fully satisfy their mothers’ needs use time transfers as a supplement. When women are paid the same as men, they are also more likely to use monetary transfers to replace their time transfers, an effect that holds over time. Spouses of adult children may either be transfer supporters or resource competitors to their mothers-in-law. Sibling’s transfer involvement has a significant effect on adult children’s transfer outcomes. While adult children’s ability and mothers’ needs play a role in transfer practices, adult children’s transfer motivation is also important.

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Presented in Poster Session 1: Aging, Life Course, Health, Mortality, and Health Care