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Does remarriage expand perceptions of kinship support among the elderly?

Author(s): Curran, Sara R.; McLanahan, Sara; Knab, Jean

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Abstract: This study addresses the debate over whether higher-order marriages will help offset the expected loss of social support from kin due to divorce for future generations of the elderly. We use data from the first wave of the National Survey of Families and Households (NSFH1, 1987–1988) to examine the effects of marriage, marital disruption, and remarriage on perceptions of overall support and support from kin. To measure perceptions of overall support, we look at whether respondents say that they have someone to: (1) turn to in an emergency, (2) borrow money from, and (3) talk to when they are depressed. To measure perceived support from kin, we look at whether respondents name kin as a source of support. We find that marriage and remarriage increase perceptions of support from kin, whereas divorce reduces perceptions of support. We also find that men benefit more from marriage and lose more from divorce than women. Taken together our findings suggest growing inequality in social support among the future elderly population.
Publication Date: Jun-2003
Citation: Curran, Sara R, McLanahan, Sara, Knab, Jean. (2003). Does remarriage expand perceptions of kinship support among the elderly? Social Science Research, 32 (2), 171 - 190. doi:10.1016/S0049-089X(02)00046-7
DOI: doi:10.1016/S0049-089X(02)00046-7
ISSN: 0049-089X
Pages: 171 - 190
Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: Social Science Research
Version: Author's manuscript

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