A Cross National Comparison of Simultaneous Multigenerational Support: The “Sandwich Generation” Revisited

Daphna Gans, RAND
Ariela Lowenstein, University of Haifa

This paper examined the prevalence and risk factors of multigenerational support using OASIS -- a nationally representative dataset of four European countries (Norway, England, Spain, Germany), and Israel. We showed that among respondents with surviving parents and children, 14.7% were regularly providing care to a very old parent (aged 75 +) or a parent that required help in performing basic activities while caring for a minor child. The proportion of dual supporters varied across countries (4.4% to 23.7%), suggesting a possible contextual effect. Logistic regression analyses suggested that older age at first birth and larger births spacing were associated with higher likelihood of providing multigenerational support. Respondents who endorsed stronger obligation to parental care and those receiving support from their parents were more likely to be dual supporters. Our findings provided evidence to a link between fertility decisions and multigenerational support, and are consistent with the intergenerational solidarity theory.

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Presented in Session 156: Generational Exchanges and Relationships: Adult-Children and Elderly Parents