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Are Mothers and Daughters Most Important? How Gender, Childhood Family Dissolution and Parents’ Current Living Arrangements Affect the Personal Care of Parents

1
Department of Sociology, Stockholm University, Universitetsvägen 10B, SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
2
Faculty of Human Sciences, Mid University, Kunskapens väg 8, SE-831 40 Östersund, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Robbie Gilligan
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(5), 160; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10050160
Received: 28 February 2021 / Revised: 26 April 2021 / Accepted: 28 April 2021 / Published: 3 May 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Family Studies)
This study examines adult children’s propensity to provide personal care to older mothers and fathers. The theory of intergenerational solidarity facilitates the understanding of commitment and support between adult children and parents. Solidarity may depend on childhood events as well as the current situation, and we therefore focus on whether there was a parental breakup in childhood and the parent’s current living arrangements. We also focus on the gendered aspects of the relations as earlier research has found stronger matrilinear relationships. The propensity for personal care was analyzed with regression analysis using the 2012 Swedish Generations and Gender Survey. The results show that daughters are more likely than sons to provide personal care to both parents. Parental breakup in childhood does not change the propensity of personal care to any parent. The probability of receiving care is higher for lone mothers than for mothers living with the father, but not for repartnered mothers. Adult children’s care provision does not differ for lone fathers and fathers living with the mother, but children are more likely to provide care to lone fathers than to repartnered fathers. We interpret this to indicate that repartnering weakens ties to fathers but not mothers. The results indicate that the child’s gender and the parent’s living arrangements operate differently with regard to care for mothers and fathers. The most common pattern is care provided from daughters to mothers. For example, daughters of lone mothers are more likely to provide care than sons in the same situation. We conclude that intergenerational solidarity is not affected by parental breakup in childhood but that present living arrangements affect such solidarity in gendered ways. View Full-Text
Keywords: informal care; gender; kin ties; parental breakup; parental partnership; single living; Nordic welfare state informal care; gender; kin ties; parental breakup; parental partnership; single living; Nordic welfare state
MDPI and ACS Style

Kridahl, L.; Duvander, A.-Z. Are Mothers and Daughters Most Important? How Gender, Childhood Family Dissolution and Parents’ Current Living Arrangements Affect the Personal Care of Parents. Soc. Sci. 2021, 10, 160. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10050160

AMA Style

Kridahl L, Duvander A-Z. Are Mothers and Daughters Most Important? How Gender, Childhood Family Dissolution and Parents’ Current Living Arrangements Affect the Personal Care of Parents. Social Sciences. 2021; 10(5):160. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10050160

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kridahl, Linda, and Ann-Zofie Duvander. 2021. "Are Mothers and Daughters Most Important? How Gender, Childhood Family Dissolution and Parents’ Current Living Arrangements Affect the Personal Care of Parents" Social Sciences 10, no. 5: 160. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10050160

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