|Title||Anticipated Longevity and Other Determinants Shaping Parent-Child Proximity for Older Americans|
|Year of Publication||2007|
|University||The Johns Hopkins University|
|Keywords||Adult children, Demographics, Health Conditions and Status|
Background. The family has been a consistent source of care for older Americans. Proximity among family members is an increasingly salient factor in determining how easy or difficult it may be for family members to care for each other currently or in the future. However, studies examining families' decisions regarding proximity, particularly that between older parents and their children (intergenerational proximity), are lacking. The purpose of this study is to investigate the decision-making process surrounding intergenerational proximity, with an emphasis on the role played by anticipated future needs for family support as well as the costs and benefits associated with living in close proximity to members of other generations within the family. Methods and Data. We set up an economic framework to reflect the impact of anticipated longevity and the expected costs and benefits of close intergenerational proximity for older parents and their children. Using a nationally representative sample of older people from a large scale data set (the 2000, 2002 and 2004 waves of the Health and Retirement Study), we implemented multivariate regression analysis to test hypotheses developed from theoretical models reflecting the decision-making process from both the parents' and the children's perspectives. Results. Older individuals with greater anticipated longevity are more likely to relocate and move closer to their children, holding other things equal. Factors that reflect the costs of moving (e.g., home ownership) or the costs of providing service to other family members (e.g., labor force participation, greater wage earnings), or both (e.g., having established one's own nuclear family) diminish the probability that the focal person in a given analysis (either a parent or an adult child) will live nearby or move closer to a member of the other generation. Factors that reflect potential gains from living in close proximity to other family members (e.g., health care needs that could be met by familial caregiving and potential financial benefits) increase the probability that the focal person will live nearby or move closer to the other generation. Conclusion. American families appear to balance the expected costs and benefits of intergenerational proximity within a given time horizon. These findings provide empirical support for the economic model of decision-making regarding families' residential proximity. This is a promising approach to classifying family and individual characteristics into categories of costs and benefits and to investigating their impacts and inter-relationships within a particular time horizon.
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|Short Title||Anticipated Longevity and Other Determinants Shaping Parent-Child Proximity for Older Americans|