The Structure of Intergenerational Exchange in the U.K.

Tak Wing Chan, University of Oxford

In this paper, I analyse recent survey data on the exchange of practical support and assistance between adult children and their non-coresident parents. Using latent class analysis, three types of exchange relationships are identified: (1) those who rarely exchange assistance with their parents (low-level exchangers), (2) those who regularly exchange assistance with their parents (high-level exchangers), and (3) those who mainly give support to their parents (givers). Since low-level exchangers account for three-fifths of the sample, it is fair to say that, in contrast to previous research, the overall level of intergenerational exchange in contemporary U.K. is rather modest. However, the associations between latent class membership and other covariates are broadly consistent with previous research. Finally, members of all three latent classes report substantively similar levels of subjective well-being and overall social support received.

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Presented in Session 54: Family Relationships and Exchanges