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The Differentiation of Multigenerational Households

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 November 2010

Carolyn J. Rosenthal
Affiliation:
Department of Behavioural Science, University of Toronto

Abstract

Previous research on multigenerational households in later life has generally ignored the distinction between multigenerational households located in the home of a parent and those located in the home of a child. This distinction has implications for dependency on the part of the older adult and also for social policy which is primarily concerned with the child-provided type of multigenerational household. The present analysis employs the distinction of parent's home versus child's home, and investigates multigenerational households in a random sample of adults in Hamilton, Ontario. In a qualitative analysis, the two types of multigenerational households are shown to be related to different family life course phases and to differ on a number of dimensions, including family size, age, effectual and consensual solidarity, income, marital status, and gender. The analysis indicates the need for future research on multigenerational households to explicitly differentiate between the two types of households examined in this paper.

Résumé

Les recherches antérieurs en gérontologie portant sur les ménages où cohabitent plus d'une génération (“multigénérationnels”) ont, en général, omis de distinguer ceux qui se situent chez un parent âgé de ceux situés chez un enfant. Cette distinction a des implications sur le degré de dépendance chez les parents âgés ainsi que sur la politique sociale qui se préoccupe essentiellement des ménages “multigénérationnels” tenus par un enfant. La présente étude tient compte de la distinction énnoncée précédemment et enquête sur les ménages “multigénérationnels” à partir d'un échantillon pris au hasard d'adultes d'Hamilton, en Ontario. Dans une analyse qualitative, on démontre que les deux types de ménages sont liés aux différentes phases de la vie de famille et qu'ils varient en fonction d'un certain nombre de paramètres parmi lesquels: le nombre de personnes dans la famille, l'âge, la solidarité affective, l'accord entre les gens, les revenus, le statut marital et le sexe. L'analyse révèle le besoin de faire de plus amples recherches sur les ménages “multigénérationnels” afin de pouvoir différencier explicitement les deux types de ménages étudiés dans cet article.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Canadian Association on Gerontology 1986

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