Contemporary Kinship: Family Composition Effects on Resources for Older Americans

Sarah Walchuk, University of California, Berkeley

This paper examines the relationship between kinship and resources for older Americans, using data from the 1987-88 and 1992-94 waves of the National Survey of Families and Households. Wachter illustrates that changing family forms prompted by divorce and remarriage will increase the number of connections that individuals will have across generations (1997:1813). I examine the relative strength of these connections, to the extent that older adults expect and receive personal care, emotional contact, or financial resources from biological children and children through remarriage. The data suggest that the institutionalization of new family forms is necessary to affect intergenerational resource transfers.

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