All the Ties that Bind: Race, Ethnicity, and Why Families Support Adult Children

TitleAll the Ties that Bind: Race, Ethnicity, and Why Families Support Adult Children
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2001
AuthorsBerry, BM
InstitutionUniversity of Michigan, Population Studies Center
Call Numberwp_2001/Berry_AllTies2001.pdf
KeywordsAdult children, Demographics, Income

Race and ethnic identity is associated with distinct cultural practices, family characteristics, and established patterns of support that collectively influence how families support their young adult children. However, conventional explanations for why parents give financial assistance to some children but not to others are narrowly drawn from the relationship between child's income and transfers. In this paper, we more fully consider how varied aspects of parent-child relationships and other factors shape motives for supporting non-resident adult children financially. A systematic and detailed analysis of data from two waves of the Health and Retirement Study shows that while families do help financially needy children more, other aspects of relationships that bind parents to children, such as proximity, the presence of grandchildren, biological relatedness, and gender are often more important than financial need. Substantial race and ethnic differences in these ties that bind suggest a need to conceptualize family motives as both attuned to distinct preferences as well as closely adapted to family characteristics and established behaviors.

Endnote Keywords

Family/Financial Support/Ethnicity

Endnote ID


Citation Key5444