Is Providing Support to Older Parents Detrimental to Adult Children’s Wellbeing? Evidence from Selected European Countries

Anita Abramowska-Kmon , Warsaw School of Economics
Milena Chelchowska, SGH Warsaw School of Economics

The consequences of intergenerational support from adult children towards their parents are more and more often discussed with respect to different areas of life, such as employment status, burden, higher risk of health problems, less free time and the impact on subjective quality of life, psychological well-being or loneliness. The main aim of the paper was the analysis of relationship between support provided to older parents and subjective quality of life of adult children aged 50-69 in selected European countries. We used the 6th wave of the SHARE survey for 17 European countries. We estimated the set of linear regression models separate for males and females as well as for groups of European countries reflecting their differences in care arrangements for older people. Our findings suggest that providing regular personal care to an older mother may be detrimental to subjective quality of life of adult children (expressed in terms of well-being and depression), while providing this kind of support to a father has no significant effect on subjective quality of life. The obtained results show that the negative relationship between caregiving and subjective quality of life applies mostly to women. Furthermore, the negative association between giving regular personal care to a parent and adult children’s wellbeing seems to occur mostly in Western and Central-European countries.

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 Presented in Session 88. Linked Lives: Grandparents, Parents, and Children