Social Indicators Research

, Volume 117, Issue 1, pp 209–233 | Cite as

The Type of Support that Adult Children Solicit from Their Mothers in European Welfare Systems

  • María Dolores Martín-Lagos López


The objective of this article is to examine if the kind of relationship and the support which mothers offer adult children living outside the home can be explained by different welfare systems and structural indicators. Propositions derived from intergenerational relationship theories and national welfare typologies have been analysed and indicate that there are structural variables that influence the type of relationship and support offered. The data we have used is from the survey “Social Relations and Support Systems”of the International Survey Programme. We selected those respondents whose mothers were alive and did not reside in the same dwelling, a total of 9,261 interviewees. The results of a factor analysis reduce the relationship between mother and child to two dimensions. Both dimensions are correlated with structural factors and make it possible to situate countries based on different welfare models consistent with the literature.


Social support Families in middle and later life Mother–child relations Economics and stratification Comparative 



I gratefully acknowledge the comments and suggestions from the anonymous reviews. I also thank Professor Requena and Professor Bericat for the comments during the preparation of this article. My most sincere thanks to the Oxford Institute of Ageing, specially Dr. George Leeson, Dr. Jaco Hoffman and Dr. Emanuela Bianchera. This article is part of the project PSI2008-01937, financed by the Ministry of Science and Innovation (Spain) in the National Plan for 2008.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of GranadaGranadaSpain

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