Gender and family structures affecting intergenerational support from adult children to older parents


Article published by our associate researcher María Beatriz Fernández and adjunct researcher María Soledad Herrera, both academics from the UC Institute of Sociology.

In a Latin American context of informal support from adult children to older parents (“upward support”), with an ageing population and insufficient coverage of social protection systems, this article examines the variables associated with upward support. The results show that upward support depends more on the children’s opportunities than on parents’ needs. Upward support is greater for parents with poorer health and daughters are more supportive than sons. Cohabiting with the parent, receiving support from the parent, and having a good relationship were also associated with greater upward support.

Therefore, public policies must consider the gender of adult children when allocating resources to older people.

Foto de una mujer de mediana edad y su padre mayor, ayudándolo a sujetar un bastón.