Background and Objectives: Adult children form the backbone of informal care for older parents. To date, limited attention has been paid to the complex mechanism of providing support to older parents. The present study investigated mezzo- and micro-level correlates of provision of support to older parents. The focus was on the child-parent relationship in childhood and in the present. Research Design and Methods: Data were derived from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE). The analytic sample comprised respondents who participated in SHARE Waves 6-8 and reported having an unhealthy mother (N = 1,554) or father (N = 478). We used hierarchical logistic regression to address 3 models including individual resources, child-parent characteristics, and social resources. We conducted separate analyses for mothers and fathers. Results: Providing support to a parent depended primarily on personal resources followed by the quality of the relationship with the parent. A larger social network of the care provider was also related to increased likelihood of providing support. Support to a mother was associated with positive evaluations of the relationship with her in the present and in childhood. At the same time, negative evaluations of the relationship with the father in childhood were negatively related to providing support to him. Discussion and Implications: The findings point to a multidimensional mechanism, in which adult children's resources are a prominent factor in shaping caregiving behaviors toward their parents. Clinical efforts should focus on adult children's social resources and the quality of the child-parent relationship.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The work was supported by the H2020 SHARE-COVID19 project (grant agreement no. 101015924). The SHARE data collection has been funded by the European Commission, DG RTD through FP5 (QLK6-CT-2001-00360), FP6 (SHARE-I3: RII-CT-2006-062193, COMPARE: CIT5-CT-2005-028857, SHARELIFE: CIT4-CT-2006-028812), FP7 (SHARE-PREP: GA No. 211909, SHARE-LEAP: GA No. 227822, SHARE M4: GA No. 261982, DASISH: GA No. 283646), and Horizon 2020 (SHARE-DEV3: GA No. 676536, SHARE-COHESION: GA No. 870628, SERISS: GA No. 654221, SSHOC: GA No. 823782, SHARE-COVID19: GA No. 101015924), and by DG Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion through VS 2015/0195, VS 2016/0135, VS 2018/0285, VS 2019/0332, and VS 2020/0313. Additional funding from the German Ministry of Education and Research, the Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science, the U.S. National Institute on Aging (U01_AG09740-13S2, P01_AG005842, P01_AG08291, P30_AG12815, R21_AG025169, Y1-AG-4553-01, IAG_BSR06-11, OGHA_04-064, HHSN271201300071C, RAG052527A), and from various national funding sources is gratefully acknowledged (see www.share-project.org ).
© 2023 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America.
- Child-parent relationship
- Informal care