Care Receipt and Care Provision in Parent-Adult Child Relationships: Their Association with Older Adults' Mental Health.

TitleCare Receipt and Care Provision in Parent-Adult Child Relationships: Their Association with Older Adults' Mental Health.
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsGlasgow, KLynn
Academic DepartmentSociology
Number of Pages97
Date Published05/2018
UniversityFlorida State University
CityTallahassee, FL
Keywordsadult care relationships, Cognition, Mental Health, parent-child relationships

Unprecedented shifts in age structure has important implications for the number of people ages 65 and older living with disabilities and requiring long-term care. Further, health care trends, including the early discharge of hospital patients and the transition of Medicaid funds away from nursing home care to community-based care (Stillman and Black 2005), has resulted in increasing numbers of older adults relying on assistance from family, especially adult children (Freedman and Spillman 2014). While it is known that adult children play an instrumental role in caring for their aging parents, relatively little is known about how this arrangement impacts the well-being of the parent. Using data from the 2010 Health and Retirement Study, this dissertation examines care receipt and care provision among functionally limited older adults and their adult children, as well as their associations with mental health. Unlike previous research examining care (receipt and provision) between older adults and their adult children, this study pays greater attention to potential gender differences in the type of care given or received, as well as their associations with mental health. In my first analysis I use logistic regression analysis to examine how sociodemographic, socioeconomic, and health factors affect the likelihood of giving and receiving various types of care. Results examining care receipt revealed that parents who are most in need of care – for example, women, race/ethnic minorities, and those with fewer socioeconomic resources and poorer health – are also more likely to receive it from their adult children. Results examining care provision revealed that parents with greater socioeconomic resources were most likely to provide financial support to adult children, while women, non-Hispanic Blacks and non-married parents were more likely to provide delayed care provision, including a will/trust or life insurance benefit. In my second set of analyses address I use negative binomial regression to examine how care (receipt and provision) are associated with mental health. I also examine how associations between care (receipt and provision) and mental health vary by gender and by level of functional limitation. Results for care receipt reveal that receiving help with IADLs is associated with better mental health and that this association is stronger for women and for those with greater functional limitations. Results for care provision reveal that including a child in a will or as a life insurance beneficiary was associated with better mental health, on average. In contrast, providing financial support to adult children was associated with worse mental health for women and those with more functional limitations. This study underscores the importance of examining specific types of care received and given and highlights the importance of considering the gender of care recipients when examining the association between care and mental health.

Citation Key10259