Intergenerational solidarity and digital communication during the Covid-19 pandemic in South Korea: Implications for dyadic well-being

Woosang Hwang, Joohong Min, Maria T. Brown, Merril Silverstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Previous research has not considered how digital communication fits with the established intergenerational solidarity paradigm, although the paradigm has undergone other refinements over time. Consequently, less is known about how the use of digital communication creates new types of intergenerational solidarity between parents and adult children, and how they are associated with their well-being. With this foundation, we aimed to identify new dyadic patterns of intergenerational solidarity between parents and adult children during the COVID-19 pandemic in South Korea, with an emphasis on digital communication (texting, video call, and social media interaction), its intersection with other dimensions of solidarity, and its association with parents' and children's well-being (depressive symptoms, self-esteem, and life satisfaction). Using an online survey method, we collected data from 407 parent–adult child dyads between April and June 2022 from the Seoul Metropolitan area in South Korea. Three-step latent class analysis was used for data analysis. We identified four classes describing intergenerational solidarity between parents and adult children (tight-knit, distant-but-digitally-connected, conflictual, and independent). We found that among dyads of parents and adult children who had tight-knit and distant-but-digitally-connected relationships with each other, parents reported better well-being on all three outcomes, and children reported better life satisfaction compared to dyads who had conflictual relationships. Our findings suggest that incorporating digital communication into the intergenerational solidarity paradigm is useful to better understand the multidimensional characteristics of intergenerational relationships between older parents and their adult children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalFamily Process
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Keywords

  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • digital communication
  • intergenerational solidarity
  • South Korea
  • well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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