Intergenerational Support in the Context of Diverse Marriage History in Later Life
In recent decades, the proportion of older adults having experienced divorce and repartnering either in earlier or later life stage has substantially increased in the U. S. This study examines the influence of older parents’ marriage history on the support they receive from biological and stepchildren. Analyzing nationally representative, longitudinal data on older adults from the Health and Retirement Study (1998-2010), the study conducts random-effects analysis to examine how the timing of parents’ divorce and repartnering differentially affects financial support, informal caregiving, help in the future, and emotional support offered by biological and stepchildren. The study finds that divorce and repartnering significant reduces the likelihood of receiving elderly support, with early divorce to be more likely to reduce support from biological children than gray divorce, while repartnering, especially that happened in old age, further lowered the likelihood of receiving support from stepchildren. The study also finds moderating effects of the gender of parents. Early and gray divorce has a larger negative effect for fathers to receive support from biological children, whereas early repartnering brings more disadvantages to mothers in receiving support from stepchildren.