Intergenerational Support Exchanges over Time and Their Relations with Depression for the Elderly in Rural China

Zhen Cong, University of Southern California
Merril Silverstein, University of Southern California

This investigation examined reciprocal relationship between intergenerational support exchanges and depresssion, i.e., how intergenerational support to and from children influenced the depression of older parents, and how the depression of older parents influenced the support from children. Data derived from a two wave longitudinal survey of 1,324 parents aged 60 and over living in rural areas of Anhui Province, China. The estimation based on Structural Equation Modeling showed that older parents who had higher level of depression in the baseline experienced reduced financial support from children and reduced emotional closeness with children in the follow-up. Baseline financial support to children and emotional closeness with children, but not financial support from children, showed lagged effect on reducing depression in the second wave. Increase in financial support to children and in emotional closeness with children over two waves, but not financial support from children, help to reduce depression.

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Presented in Poster Session 2: Family, Households, Unions; Data, Methods, Study Design