Sandwiched between Aging Parents and Boomerang Kids in Two Cohorts of American Women

Emily Wiemers, University of Massachusetts at Boston
Suzanne M. Bianchi, University of California, Los Angeles

In late middle age, individuals may face competing demands on their time and financial resources from elderly parents and young adult children. This study uses the Panel Study of Income Dynamics to examine changes over time and differences by race in the probability of having children and living parents for women age 50 to 64. We compare two cohorts: those born in the 1920s and 1930s and those born in the 1940s and 1950s. Within each cohort we examine differences between Blacks and Whites. We find that there has been a dramatic increase in the probability of having children and living parents. We find that while Whites are more likely to have children and living parents, Blacks with children and living parents may face a heavier burden of support--particularly in the form of co-residence--and are more likely to face this burden without a spouse.

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Presented in Session 56: Kin Availability and Intergenerational Transfers