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J Gerontol. 1992 Nov;47(6):S289-96.

Family structure and changes in living arrangements among elderly nonmarried parents.

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Department of Sociology, State University of New York, Albany.


We used Longitudinal Study of Aging data to investigate change between 1984 and 1986 in living arrangements of older nonmarried parents, focusing on transitions from living alone and living with children to living alone, with children, with others, and institutionalization. Predictors reflect opportunities for coresidence (number and gender of children), resources, needs, and (indirect measures of) attitudes. We find that those with more children are more likely to change from living alone to living with a child. However, number of children does not affect the odds of moving from living with a child to other arrangements (including institutionalization). Gender of children does not affect tendencies to begin coresidence, although there is slight evidence of more movement out of coresidence for those with sons. Findings are interpreted in terms of the influence of adult children's and parents' needs in determining coresidence.

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