Attitudes toward public support of the elderly: Does early involvement with grandparents moderate generational tensions?

Merril Silverstein, Tonya M. Parrott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examines age differences in altitudes toward public support for the elderly, and whether contact with grandparents during childhood moderates these differences. Data collected in 1990 from a nationally representative sample were used to address these issues. Attitudes toward the fairness of public policy are characterized by two dimensions, one signifying support for entitlement of the elderly to benefits and a second dimension signifying support for the contributory schemes that fund old-age benefits. Multiple regression analyses reveal that young adults (18-24) are the age group least supportive of elderly entitlement benefits and most concerned that the elderly are not paying their fair share of the cost of their benefits. However, greater childhood contact with grandparents reduced the generally greater opposition of young adults to current contributory policy, thereby moderating age-group tensions around this issue. Results are discussed in the context of the 'interdependence of generations' framework.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)108-132
Number of pages25
JournalResearch on Aging
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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