Living Arrangements and Intergenerational Support in Puerto Rico: Are Fathers Disadvantaged?

Nekehia Quashie, Flavia Andrade, Gabriella Meltzer, Catherine Garcia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives
To examine how intergenerational support varies by parents’ living arrangements and whether there are gender differences in received support in Puerto Rico.

Methods
Data come from the 2006-2007 Puerto Rican Elderly and Health Conditions Project, a representative longitudinal study of adults aged 60 and older in Puerto Rico (n=2,288). We examined the association between parents’ living arrangements (alone, with spouse/partner only, with children) and their receipt of functional (help with errands/housework/transport) and health (help when sick) support from children, and whether parents’ gender moderates the association.

Results
Intergenerational coresidence was associated with higher odds of receiving functional and health support than living alone. Women were more likely than men to receive both forms of support. Parents’ gender significantly moderated the association between living arrangements and receiving health support — men living with their partners were less likely to receive health support from children than women in similar living arrangements. These associations persisted when analyses were restricted to those with disability.

Discussion
Our findings suggest that parents’ receipt of support from children is conditioned upon their living arrangement and gender, even when their functional health is jeopardized. We discuss these results in relation to the heterogeneous influence of living arrangements for older adults’ support needs and provide suggestions for policy and directions for future research in rapidly aging Puerto Rico.

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