Patterns of Giving to Family and Giving to Others in Midlife

Abstract

Guided by life course and resource perspectives, this study investigated patterns of middle-aged adults’ giving of time and money within and outside their immediate family. National data from Midlife in the United States II (MIDUS II) were analyzed for 759 middle-aged adults. Latent class analysis provided strong evidence for a 4-class model of giving patterns. The four types were (a) General Benefactors (30%), (b) Time Benefactors (28%), (c) Financial Philanthropists (26%), and (d) Uninvolved (16%), revealing that the majority of midlife adults give time and/or money within and outside their immediate family while fewer give money outside their family only or not at all. Middle-aged adults’ contextual factors, resource availability and demands, and perceptions of family relationships and non-family roles predicted giving pattern membership. The heterogeneous giving patterns of midlife adults have implications for research and practice.

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Barnett, A.E., Cooney, T.M. & Shapiro, A. Patterns of Giving to Family and Giving to Others in Midlife. J Fam Econ Iss 41, 691–705 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10834-020-09680-1

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Keywords

  • Family giving
  • Charitable giving
  • Philanthropy
  • Life course
  • Resources