Living Arrangements of Mothers and Their Adult Children Over the Life Course

Emily E. Wiemers, Vladislav Slanchev, Kathleen McGarry, V. Joseph Hotz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Early in the last century, it was commonplace for elderly women to live with their adult children. Over time, the prevalence of this type of living arrangement declined, as incomes increased. In more recent decades, coresidence between adult children and their retirement-age parents has become more common, as children rely on parental support later into adulthood. We use panel data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics to examine the living arrangements of older mothers and their adult children over the life course. We pay particular attention to the relationship between coresidence and indicators of parental and child needs. Our results suggest that for much of the life course, coresidence serves to benefit primarily the adult children rather than their older mother. We also highlight a little known phenomenon, that of children who never leave the parental home and remain coresident well into their later adult years.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-134
Number of pages24
JournalResearch on Aging
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • coresidence
  • family support
  • living arrangements
  • transfers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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