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Adult children and elderly parents as mobility attractions in Sweden
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social and Economic Geography. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Population Studies (CPS). (Ageing and Livng Conditions)
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social and Economic Geography. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Population Studies (CPS). (Ageing and Livng Conditions)
2009 (English)In: Population, Space and Place, ISSN 1544-8452, E-ISSN 1544-8444, Vol. 15, no 4, 343-357 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this paper is to investigate the extent to which elderly parents and adult children move close (or very close) to each other and how this mobility is influenced by socioeconomic conditions, family situation, gender and age. The analyses are based on register data for the years 2001 and 2002 covering all elderly parents and their adult children residing in Sweden. For instance, our analyses show a positive relationship between, on the one hand, moving close to an adult child or an elderly parent and, on the other, the presence of other family members (e.g. siblings and grandchildren). We also found that moving very close to adult children was more common among the young-old and less common among the old-old. One interpretation is that young-old parents often move close to their adult children to have social contact or assist them, but as the parents grow older and their health weakens, care becomes increasingly important and, in the Swedish welfare state, it becomes more the responsibility of public institutions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Wiley InterScience , 2009. Vol. 15, no 4, 343-357 p.
Keyword [en]
ageing, migration, intergenerational, Sweden, elderly, parents
National Category
Human Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-19982DOI: 10.1002/psp.558ISI: 000267305600004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-19982DiVA: diva2:207867
Projects
Ageing and Livng Conditions
Available from: 2009-03-13 Created: 2009-03-13 Last updated: 2012-07-10Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. A family landscape: On the geographical distances between elderly parents and adult children in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A family landscape: On the geographical distances between elderly parents and adult children in Sweden
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

With a background in the ageing of the population and the new challenges facing individuals, families and the welfare state, the aim of this thesis is to analyse the changing family landscape and the geographical distances between elderly parents and adult children.

The thesis consists of four empirical studies derived from three different sources of data: In the first paper (Paper I), historical population data is combined with modern register data for two Swedish regions. In the second and third papers, individual-level register data covering the entire Swedish population serves as the empirical starting point. The fourth paper leaves the registers aside and builds upon interviews. Paper I provides an introduction and historical background to the question of intergenerational geographical proximity and distance. The paper analyses intergenerational distances and seeks to compare and discuss the significance of the variations. It is shown that concerning extreme proximity a great decrease has occurred over 200 years, however when it comes to having kin within reach the decrease is less dramatic, and that now, just as then, a majority of elderly parents have an adult child within reach. The article concludes that even though geographical distances between generations vary over time and space, no clear linear trend towards intergenerational geographical separation can be established. In Paper II we analyse some features and trends in intergenerational distances in Sweden. We find that 10% of all elderly parents have at least one child living very close and that a majority, 85%, have an adult child within reach. The study shows no clear trend towards increasing intergenerational separation, but suggests that periods of intense societal restructuring, such urbanisation, can lead to spells of increased intergenerational separation on an aggregated level. Paper III investigates whether, and to what extent, elderly parents and adult children move close to each other. We find that even though the older generation makes up a smaller share of the moves made, when they do move they are more likely to move closer to an adult child. Further, having more than one relative at a destination adds to the attraction, and that older elderly are less likely to move close to a child than younger elderly. One interpretation is that young-old parents serve as a resource for their adult children, while older elderly are more influenced by the need for welfare state based assistance. The last paper, IV, returns to the elderly parents living very close to an adult child. In interviews with 14 elderly the aim of the paper is to gain new understanding about the interaction between intergenerational proximity, assistance and the meaning of being close. Some of the issues raised in the paper relate to migration histories, reciprocity and independence.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå university, Department of Social and Economic Geography, 2011. 80 p.
Series
GERUM, ISSN 1402-5205 ; 2011:1
Keyword
Family, elderly parents, adult children, intergenerational, child-parent proximity, migration, distance, ageing, support, register data, Sweden
National Category
Social and Economic Geography
Research subject
Social and Economic Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-38876 (URN)978-91-978344-5-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-01-28, Samhällsvetarhuset, hörsal D, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
I två av delarbetena har författaren efternamnet Pettersson.Available from: 2011-01-07 Created: 2011-01-05 Last updated: 2012-07-10Bibliographically approved

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Pettersson, AnnaMalmberg, Gunnar

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