Assistance to aging parents and parents-in-law: Does lineage affect family allocation decisions?

Kim Shuey, Melissa A. Hardy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

35 Scopus citations


In this analysis we used data from the Health and Retirement Study to examine how couples organize transfers of assistance to aging parents and whether the flow of assistance is structured by family lineage. We found evidence of a tradeoff between types of assistance and a unilineal pattern of assistance. Few couples provided both time and money, and few assisted parents and parents-in-law. The determinants of assistance varied by type of care, recipient, and patterns of parental survival. Couples were more responsive to the needs of the wife's parent(s) and were less likely to exclude her parents from care even under circumstances of competition. Controlling for resources, African American and Hispanic couples were consistently more likely to provide assistance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)418-431
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Marriage and Family
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2003


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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