Family Assistance

By: Eggebeen, David J.

Studying data from the National Survey of Families and Households, this researcher finds that the likelihood of married adults exchanging assistance with their parents is significantly higher than for cohabiting adults. The proportion of married adults that: 1) gave assistance to their parents was 8% higher; 2) received assistance from their parents was 11% higher; and 3) expected assistance in a time of emergency from their parents was 15% higher than for cohabiting adults. After controlling for characteristics of children, parents, and the parent-child relationship, being married increased the likelihood (relative to cohabiting) of receiving parental assistance by 12%, of giving parental assistance by 7%, and of expecting parental assistance in the case of an emergency by 49%.

Cohabitation and exchanges of support. Social Forces 83 (3): 1097-110.