Consequences of Divorce and Remarriage on Intergenerational Transfers

I-Fen Lin, Bowling Green State University

In the second half of the past century, American families experienced several important demographic changes that are likely to redefine rights and obligations between parents and their children. Using four waves of the AHEAD study, I address three research questions in the paper. First, what are the consequences of parents' divorce on the trajectories of adult children's support of their parents over time? Second, does remarriage further decrease aging parents' propensity for receiving support from their children? Last, does having a stepchild from remarriage expand parents' support network in times of need? The results show that children of divorced mothers are just as likely as children of widows to assist their mothers with ADLs or IADLs. Fathers' remarriage is negatively associated with children's provision of support over time. Having a stepchild is unlikely to offset the negative impacts of divorce and remarriage on intergenerational transfers.

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Presented in Session 22: Family Investments