Is the relationship between religiosity and filial elder-care norms declining? A comparison between two middle-aged generations

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Abstract

We investigated whether religiosity among middle-aged adults in the Baby Boom generation and Generation-X was associated with filial elder-care norms. The sample consisted of 720 Baby Boom and 520 Gen-X respondents participating in the Longitudinal Study of Generations. A cohort-comparative model was devised using data from Baby Boomers in 1994 and Gen-Xers in 2016, when they were 42 and 40 years old, respectively. A three-step latent class modeling technique identified three religious classes in both generations: strongly religious, weakly religious, and doctrinally religious. Weakly religious Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers reported weaker filial elder-care norms than the strongly religious in each generation. No difference in these effects were detected by generation. However, only among Baby Boomers did the doctrinally religious express stronger filial norms, suggesting cross-cohort weakening in how beliefs translate into filial responsibility in the absence of congregational practice. This research opens lines of inquiry that examine long-term effects of adult children's religiosity on the actual provision of assistance to older parents when they face health difficulties.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Religion, Spirituality and Aging
StateE-pub ahead of print - Mar 2021

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