“Put Your Money Where Your Love Is”: Parental Aid to Adult Children
- 250 Downloads
Qualitative data are used to examine parents’ support to their adult children, and their motivations and feelings about it. The sample is 40 adult children and parents from four racial/ethnic groups: African-Americans, Asian-Americans, non-Latino Whites, and Latinos. Ideals of adult independence versus interdependence emerge as determinants of feelings about aiding adult children. The ambivalence concept provides the means to elucidate the tensions between these ideologies and children’s structurally shaped circumstances. Parental assistance to adult children was seen as acceptable for education, home ownership, and on behalf of young children, especially if the child was “working hard.” Parents still provided aid, however, even if these conditions were not met. In these situations, more intrafamilial tension characterized the aid transfer.
KeywordsCulture/race/ethnicity Families in middle and later life Intergenerational transfers Qualitative research
I wish to thank all who provided feedback and thoughtful comments on this manuscript: Preston Britner, Fabienne Doucet, Brent Gibson, and Shannon Weaver. I am also grateful to the people who helped me conduct the fieldwork and analyze the results: Allisson Banegas, Laurel Cameron, Jodie Comer, Autumn Kelly, Valerie Knight, Gareth Mann, Loretta Moore, Tykeia Robinson, Misha Suksnguan, and Alejandro Trejo. The funds for this study were provided by the National Science Foundation (Dissertation Improvement Grant #9708534) and the University of Michigan Rackham School of Graduate Studies. The University of Connecticut provided additional funds that assisted with manuscript preparation.
- Attias-Donfut, C., & Wolff, F. C. (2000). Complementarity between private and public transfers. In S. Arber & C. Attias-Donfut (Eds.), The myth of generational conflict. The family and state in ageing societies (pp. 47–68). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Bellah, R. N., Madsen, R., Sullivan, W. M., Swidler, A., & Tipton, S. M. (1985). Habits of the heart: Individualism and commitment in American life. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
- Conley, D. (1999). Being Black, living in the red: Race, wealth, and social policy in America. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
- Crabtree, B. F., & Miller, W. L. (1999). Using codes and code manuals: A template organizing style of interpretation. In B. F. Crabtree, & W. L. Miller (Eds.), Doing qualitative research (2nd ed., pp. 163–177). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Descartes, L. (2002). A comparative study of informal support networks in Culver City, California. University of Michigan Dissertation #30012 (Ph.D.). Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan.Google Scholar
- Kohli, M., & Künemund, H. (2003). Intergenerational transfers in the family: What motivates giving? In V. L. Bengtson, & A. Lowenstein (Eds.), Global aging and challenges to families (pp. 123–142). Hawthorne, NY: Aldine de Gruyter.Google Scholar
- Kottak, C. P. (1990). Prime-time society: An anthropological analysis of television and culture. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.Google Scholar
- Kronebusch, K., & Schlesinger, M. (1994). Intergenerational transfers. In V. L. Bengtson, & R. A. Harootyan (Eds.), Intergenerational linkages: Hidden connections in American society (pp. 112–151). New York: Springer.Google Scholar
- Lamphere, L., Zavella, P., & Gonzales, F. (1993). Sunbelt working mothers: Reconciling family and factory. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
- Logan, J. R., & Spitze, G. D. (1996). Family ties: Enduring relations between parents and their grown children. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.Google Scholar
- Ortner, S. (1989). High religion: A cultural and political history of Sherpa Buddhism. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
- Ploeg, J., Campbell, L., Denton, M., Joshi, A., & Davies, S. (2004). Helping to build and rebuild secure lives and futures: Financial transfers from parents to adult children and grandchildren. Canadian Journal on Aging, 23(Suppl. 1), S113–S125.Google Scholar
- Rosen, R. (2005). Explaining recent changes in home prices. Chicago Fed Letter, July 2005, 216. Retrieved June 26, 2005, from http://www.chicagofed.org/publications/fedletter/cfljuly2005_216.pdf.
- Rossi, A. S., & Rossi, P. H. (1990). Of human bonding: Parent–child relations across the life course. Hawthorne, NY: Aldine.Google Scholar
- Shapiro, T. (2004). The hidden cost of being African American: How wealth perpetuates inequality. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Stack, C. (1974). All our kin: Strategies for survival in a Black community. New York: Harper and Row.Google Scholar
- U. S. Bureau of the Census. (1994). County and city data book. Washington, DC: U. S. Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
- U. S. Bureau of the Census (2003). Current population survey. Retrieved June 21, 2005, from http://www.census.gov/population/socdemo/hh-fam/cps2003/tabA2-all.pdf.
- Weitzman, E. A., & Miles, M. B. (1995). Computer programs for qualitative data analysis. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Zollar, A. (1985). A member of the family: Strategies for Black family continuity. Chicago: Nelson-Hall.Google Scholar