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Schools, Schooling, and Children’s Support of Their Aging Parents

Publication Abstract

Brauner-Otto, Sarah R. 2009. “Schools, Schooling, and Children’s Support of Their Aging Parents.” Ageing & Society 29(7):1015-39.

Intergenerational transfers play an important role in individuals’ lives across the lifecourse. This paper reviews theories on intergenerational transfers and social change to inform our understanding of how changes in the educational context that arise from the spread of mass education influence children’s support of their parents. By examining multiple aspects of the educational context in rural Nepal, including husbands’ and wives’ education and exposure to schools, this paper provides new information on the mechanisms through which changes in social context influence children’s support of their parents. Multilevel logistic regression was used to estimate the relationship between schooling, exposure to schools, and the likelihood of couples giving to their parents. It was found that schooling and exposure to schools have independent and opposite effects on the support of older parents. Higher levels of schooling for husbands were associated with a higher likelihood of having given support to husbands’ parents. On the other hand, increased exposure to schools for husbands and wives was associated with a lower likelihood of having given to wives’ parents. The findings provide evidence that multiple motivations for intergenerational support exist simultaneously and are related to social context through different mechanisms.

DOI: 10.1017/S0144686X09008575

PMCID: PMC2801906