Support Between Parents and Adult Children in the Face of Declines in Health: The Case of Diabetes

Solveig Cunningham , Emory University
Jannie Nielsen, Emory University

Exchanges between parents and adult children represent a major source of support for both. An important question is how assistance between parents and adult children relates to declines in health. We explore relationships between diabetes, a common, costly condition with major health complications, and financial and instrumental assistance between parents and children. Using the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, a national longitudinal dataset from the United States, we estimated survey-adjusted logistic regressions for the probabilities of receiving or giving support to or from adult children. After adjusting for social and economic characteristics and other health conditions, households in which the head or wife had diabetes were less likely to give money to adult children compared to household without diabetes; they were also more likely to receive time assistance from adult children. It was not the diabetes diagnosis itself, but the presence of limitations, that was associated with patterns of exchanges.

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 Presented in Session 223. Flash Session: Families and Health