This study examines changes in family solidarity and mutual influence across generations during the last several decades. It addresses the important question of whether family solidarity and support is declining as a consequence of macro-social trends such as population aging, divorce and remarriage, higher female labor force participation, changes in work and the economy, and possible weakening of family norms of obligation. The study also examines how intergenerational relationships influence individuals' well being as they transition across the life course from early to middle to late adulthood. The proposed grant will extend the Longitudinal Study of Generations into its eighth and ninth waves of three-year data collection. This will allow the first fully elaborated generation-sequential design that is, comparing sets of aging parents and children at the same stage of life but during different historical periods--and allow investigation of three specific aims: (1) the effects of social change on inter-generational solidarity or conflict across 35 years and four generations; (2) the effects of social change on the ability of families to buffer stressful life transitions; (3) the effects of social change on the transmission of values, resources, and behaviors across generations. These issues have important implications for health care and social policy: if the functions of the family have declined, then the burden on public services to the elderly will likely increase.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Research Project (R01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-RPHB-4 (01))
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Nielsen, Lisbeth
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University of Southern California
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Los Angeles
United States
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Jacobson, Nicholas C; Roche, Michael J (2018) Current evolutionary adaptiveness of anxiety: Extreme phenotypes of anxiety predict increased fertility across multiple generations. J Psychiatr Res 106:82-90
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