Dykstra, P.L., Grundy, E., Fokkema, T., de Jong Gierverld, J., Ploubidis, G. Read, S. & Tomassini, C. (2009) Final report prepared in the context of the MAGGIE (Major Ageing and Gender Issues in Europe) research project. Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI), 3 December 2009. [ONS LS]
Other information: Abstract:
Some previous studies that did examine the late-life health and well-being implications of family-related developments are limited in terms of their scope.First, detailed examination of possible gender differences is still often neglected or, especially in research on childlessness or late parenthood, the focus is only on the implications for women. Second, most studies have been conducted in single-country contexts, making it impossible to generalize the findings to the European population. Third, those few studies using cross-national data have prominently paid attention to variation between countries, neglecting diversity within the countries. Fourth, the role of obligations and responsibility is often neglected in family support studies. The activities of Workpackage 3 (Family relations and social integration) and part of the work undertaken within Workpackage 2 (Health conditions) of the MAGGIE research project aimed to fill part of these empirical gaps.This report presents a summary of the main findings. In chapter 2 we first consider gender differences in the family life histories and circumstances of older men and women and examine how these relate to mortality, mental health and quality of life.In chapter 3 we examine whether different types of intergenerational exchange, encapsulated in late-life family typologies, are prevalent in different European countries. In chapter 4 we consider whether different late-life family types have implications for the physical and mental health of older people and their loneliness feelings. In chapter 5 we examine the conditions under which filial norms motivate upward intergenerational family support. In chapter 6, attention is paid to the limitations of our findings and to challenges for future research.