Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology

, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 5–17

Living Arrangements of Ever-Married Older Lebanese Women: Is Living with Married Children Advantageous?

  • Abla Mehio-Sibai
  • May A. Beydoun
  • Rania A. Tohme
Original Article


In many Middle Eastern countries including Lebanon, the family as a social institution is greatly valued and local norms regarding family ties and living arrangements are especially important for older adults, in particular older women. While the presence of an adult child is often seen as responsive to the financial, health and social needs of older parents, it is not clear whether co-residence with married children offers a similar advantage as in the case of co-residence with unmarried children. Using data from a national Population and Housing Survey, this study examines associations of co-residence with adult children among ever-married women aged 65 years and older in Lebanon. Results showed a considerable proportion of elderly women who were living alone (18%) at the time of the survey. Co-residence was more frequent with unmarried than married children, but the gender ratio of the co-residing child varied with the marital status of both the older woman and the child. Moreover, among those co-residing with married children, results indicate a greater likelihood of co-residence with married sons over married daughters. Co-residence with an adult child associated positively with the availability of surviving children and negatively with the socioeconomic status of the woman and her spouse. Compared to other living arrangements, co-residence with a married child entailed the least advantageous Household Socioeconomic Status (HSES) score in terms of housing characteristics, infrastructure, and material possessions, for both married and unmarried women.


Lebanon Living arrangements Married children Older adults Women 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Abla Mehio-Sibai
    • 1
  • May A. Beydoun
    • 2
  • Rania A. Tohme
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Epidemiology & Population HealthAmerican University of BeirutBeirutLebanon
  2. 2.Center for Human Nutrition, Department of International HealthJohns Hopkins School of Public HealthBaltimoreUSA

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