Muresan, Cornelia; Haragus, Paul Teodor
Babes-Bolyai University, Romania
Family-life experience during childhood and current family situation could shape both filial norms formation and support behavior of adult children toward their aging parents. In this study we are especially interested on the situation of families where children and parents do not live in the same household, since family solidarity in the case of intergenerational co-residence is often driven by other motivations and the direction of the help given is rather unclear. With rising parental divorce, proportion of children growing up without their both biological parents increase, and later on this could generate weaker filial responsibilities and less actual support given to aging parents. Using GGS data from ten European countries (seven from Eastern Europe and three from Western Europe, the latter taken as benchmark countries) we model, first, the strength of filial norms among non-co-resident adult children and, then, the actual support given to mothers and to fathers taken separately. Our main hypothesis is that family experience during childhood has an impact both on filial responsibilities and on helping behavior, but the direct connection between filial obligations and support behavior is stronger. The latter is especially true in Eastern European countries (family-step-in-hypothesis) where the public support is reduced, since it is more critical to act upon beliefs about filial responsibilities because of the more severe consequences that may occur if one fails on obligation norms. We distinguish between three types of support offered (practical, material and emotional) and we control for other known determinants as: children’s own family situation, their practical possibilities, age, education, and religiosity. Parental needs are also controlled.