Do Safety Nets Work? The Role of Anticipated Help in Times of Need

  • Eggebeen D
  • Davey A
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A sample of parents (aged 50+) drawn from the 1988 and 1992 waves of the National Survey of Families and Households was used to examine two questions: How responsive is support from adult children in times of need? Is support from children greaterfor those who expected their chil- dren to provide help? Parents who experience one or more transitions in the time between survey waves are likely to receive help from their adult children over and above previous exchange pat- terns. Responsiveness on the part of children does not appear to be linked with parental expecta- tions, however Neither general value orientations about what children should do to support parents, nor expectations of help from one's own children in hypothetical situations are related to children's responsiveness to parental needs. Results are con- sistent with a contingent exchange perspective on intergenerational relationships.

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  • David J. Eggebeen

  • Adam Davey

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