Older Adults Without Close Kin in the United States

Rachel Margolis, Ashton Michael Verdery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives: We document the size and characteristics of the population of older adults without close kin in the contemporary United States. Methods: Using the Health and Retirement Study, we examine the prevalence of lacking different types and combinations of living kin, examine how kinless-ness is changing across birth cohorts, and provide estimates of kinless-ness for sociodemographic and health groups. Results: In 1998-2010, 6.6% of U.S. adults aged 55 and above lacked a living spouse and biological children and 1% lacked a partner/spouse, any children, biological siblings, and biological parents. Kinless-ness, defined both ways, is becoming more common among adults in their 50s and 60s for more recent birth cohorts. Lacking close kin is more prevalent among women than men, native born than immigrants, never-married, those living alone, college-educated women, those with low levels of wealth, and those in poor health. Discussion: Kinless-ness should be of interest to policy makers because it is more common among those with social, economic and health risks; those who live alone, with low levels of wealth, and disability. Aging research should address the implications of kinless-ness for public health, social isolation, and the demand for institutional care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)688-693
Number of pages6
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Volume72
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2017

Fingerprint

spouse
Health
health
Spouses
Parturition
health risk
retirement
social economics
Social Isolation
Retirement
social isolation
parents
Population Characteristics
Population Density
public health
Administrative Personnel
disability
immigrant
Population Groups
Siblings

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

Cite this

@article{c8f8628dbcec4c2c847f03ce20331367,
title = "Older Adults Without Close Kin in the United States",
abstract = "Objectives: We document the size and characteristics of the population of older adults without close kin in the contemporary United States. Methods: Using the Health and Retirement Study, we examine the prevalence of lacking different types and combinations of living kin, examine how kinless-ness is changing across birth cohorts, and provide estimates of kinless-ness for sociodemographic and health groups. Results: In 1998-2010, 6.6{\%} of U.S. adults aged 55 and above lacked a living spouse and biological children and 1{\%} lacked a partner/spouse, any children, biological siblings, and biological parents. Kinless-ness, defined both ways, is becoming more common among adults in their 50s and 60s for more recent birth cohorts. Lacking close kin is more prevalent among women than men, native born than immigrants, never-married, those living alone, college-educated women, those with low levels of wealth, and those in poor health. Discussion: Kinless-ness should be of interest to policy makers because it is more common among those with social, economic and health risks; those who live alone, with low levels of wealth, and disability. Aging research should address the implications of kinless-ness for public health, social isolation, and the demand for institutional care.",
author = "Rachel Margolis and Verdery, {Ashton Michael}",
year = "2017",
month = "7",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1093/geronb/gbx068",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "72",
pages = "688--693",
journal = "Journals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences",
issn = "1079-5014",
publisher = "Gerontological Society of America",
number = "4",

}

Older Adults Without Close Kin in the United States. / Margolis, Rachel; Verdery, Ashton Michael.

In: Journals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, Vol. 72, No. 4, 01.07.2017, p. 688-693.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Older Adults Without Close Kin in the United States

AU - Margolis, Rachel

AU - Verdery, Ashton Michael

PY - 2017/7/1

Y1 - 2017/7/1

N2 - Objectives: We document the size and characteristics of the population of older adults without close kin in the contemporary United States. Methods: Using the Health and Retirement Study, we examine the prevalence of lacking different types and combinations of living kin, examine how kinless-ness is changing across birth cohorts, and provide estimates of kinless-ness for sociodemographic and health groups. Results: In 1998-2010, 6.6% of U.S. adults aged 55 and above lacked a living spouse and biological children and 1% lacked a partner/spouse, any children, biological siblings, and biological parents. Kinless-ness, defined both ways, is becoming more common among adults in their 50s and 60s for more recent birth cohorts. Lacking close kin is more prevalent among women than men, native born than immigrants, never-married, those living alone, college-educated women, those with low levels of wealth, and those in poor health. Discussion: Kinless-ness should be of interest to policy makers because it is more common among those with social, economic and health risks; those who live alone, with low levels of wealth, and disability. Aging research should address the implications of kinless-ness for public health, social isolation, and the demand for institutional care.

AB - Objectives: We document the size and characteristics of the population of older adults without close kin in the contemporary United States. Methods: Using the Health and Retirement Study, we examine the prevalence of lacking different types and combinations of living kin, examine how kinless-ness is changing across birth cohorts, and provide estimates of kinless-ness for sociodemographic and health groups. Results: In 1998-2010, 6.6% of U.S. adults aged 55 and above lacked a living spouse and biological children and 1% lacked a partner/spouse, any children, biological siblings, and biological parents. Kinless-ness, defined both ways, is becoming more common among adults in their 50s and 60s for more recent birth cohorts. Lacking close kin is more prevalent among women than men, native born than immigrants, never-married, those living alone, college-educated women, those with low levels of wealth, and those in poor health. Discussion: Kinless-ness should be of interest to policy makers because it is more common among those with social, economic and health risks; those who live alone, with low levels of wealth, and disability. Aging research should address the implications of kinless-ness for public health, social isolation, and the demand for institutional care.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85021818586&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85021818586&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1093/geronb/gbx068

DO - 10.1093/geronb/gbx068

M3 - Article

VL - 72

SP - 688

EP - 693

JO - Journals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences

JF - Journals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences

SN - 1079-5014

IS - 4

ER -