European Journal of Ageing

, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp 174–182

Intergenerational solidarity and the family–welfare state balance

Original Investigation

DOI: 10.1007/s10433-005-0001-1

Cite this article as:
Daatland, S.O. & Lowenstein, A. Eur J Ageing (2005) 2: 174. doi:10.1007/s10433-005-0001-1


The article addresses the strength and character of intergenerational family solidarity under different family cultures and welfare state regimes in order to answer the following two questions: (1) Is intergenerational solidarity stronger under the more collectivist southern family tradition than under the more individualist northern tradition? (2) Is more generous access to social care services a risk or a resource for family care? These questions are explored with data from the OASIS project, a comparative study among the urban populations aged 25+ (n=6,106) in Norway, England, Germany, Spain, and Israel. The findings indicate that the welfare state has not crowded out the family in elder care, but has rather helped the generations establish more independent relationships. Intergenerational solidarity is substantial in both the northern and southern welfare state regimes, and seems to vary in character more than in strength.


Intergenerational solidarity Family–welfare state balance Cross-national comparisons Elder care 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Norwegian Social ResearchOsloNorway
  2. 2.Centre for Research and Study of Aging, Faculty of Welfare and Health StudiesUniversity of HaifaHaifaIsrael

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