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Demography. 1995 Feb;32(1):29-45.

Stability and change in temporal distance between the elderly and their children.

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  • 1University of Southern California, Andrus Gerontology Center, University Park, Los Angeles 90089-0191, USA.


Drawing on a developmental model of late-life migration, this paper investigates how older people's health and social characteristics influence stability and change in their temporal distance from their children. Data from the Longitudinal Study of Aging are used to examine both discrete transitions and continuous change in distance over a four-year period. Decline in older parents' physical health increased the propensity of parents and children to become temporally closer to each other. Among those parent-child pairs who had become closer, the conjunction of declining health and widowhood increased both the degree of non-coresident proximity and the likelihood of transition to coresidence. The findings portray a geographically resilient family that adjusts to the changing needs of its older members.

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