Who Supports the Elderly Parents in Need? The Structure of Active and Latent Intergenerational Ties in Korea

Yool Choi, Korea National University of Education
Bongoh Kye , Kookmin University
Wangwon Lee, Korea University

We test the “latent kin network” hypothesis by considering both active and latent structures of intergenerational exchange in Korea. We first examine active intergenerational ties using the Latent Class Analysis. Then, we test how each latent classes differently react to family members’ needs by using the longitudinal data. We found that active intergenerational ties are greatly stratified by families’ socioeconomic backgrounds. While wealthier families have strong emotional bonds between parents and children regardless of their financial exchanges, poorer families have both lower emotional bonds and less frequent financial exchanges. Financial exchanges are prompted when there is an imbalance between parents’ and children’s economic resources. We also found that latent intergenerational ties emerge only when parents actually need support and children have economic resources. Therefore, the structure of latent intergenerational ties also greatly depends on families’ socioeconomic resources.

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 Presented in Session 174. Intergenerational Relationships