Intergenerational Family Support for Older Men and Women in South India

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
S. Sudha, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: This study examines the pattern of intergenerational familial support among older men and women in South India, indicated by older persons’ residence with children vs. with their spouse only or alone, and by any report of receiving financial support from children. We examine a 1993 sample survey relating 1755 elderly persons (664 women and 1091 men) in three states of South India (Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka). Our aim is to examine different models of family support of older persons in Southern India: modernization theory related models; power and bargaining models, and need-based models. Each of these models implies different covariates and directions of support for older persons. We also enquire whether covariates of support differ for men vs. women. Modernization related covariates receive limited support in our findings, except with regard to men under some conditions. Among need-based factors, widowhood is the most important trigger of receiving support, among both sexes; poor health or other need-related factors play little role. Strikingly, higher asset ownership is associated with higher likelihood of support, lending support to the power / bargaining model. There are more similarities than differences between the sexes in patterns of covariates. Implications for familial intergenerational support from this study are that modernization factors are not likely to erode familial support for older persons in India. Rather, general poverty or lack of assets are likely to make seniors more vulnerable. If modernization promotes prosperity, it may be associated with better support for older persons in India.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2004
Family support, older men and women, South India

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