Religion, Race/Ethnicity, and Norms of Intergenerational Assistance among Older Adults
Ellison, Christopher G.
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Using data on adults ages 55 and over from the second wave of the National Survey of Families and Households (NSFH-2), this study models the main and interactive effects of religious involvement and race/ethnicity on four items of attitudes towards intergenerational assistance. Results indicate that African Americans and Hispanics tend to express stronger support for intergenerational assistance than non-Hispanic Whites. Conservative Protestants, Mormons, and Catholics are more likely than others to believe that adult children should offer co-residence to their aging parents. In addition, theological conservatism is positively associated with support for each type of intergenerational aid, and the net effect of theological conservatism is stronger for African Americans than for non-Hispanic Whites. However, religious attendance is statistically unrelated to norms of intergenerational assistance. It is concluded that religious factors are important in shaping norms of intergenerational support, particularly within minority communities.