, Volume 32, Issue 3, pp 353–364 | Cite as

Self-interest and altruism in intergenerational relations

  • John R. Logan
  • Glenna D. Spitze
Intergenerational Relations


Self-interest and altruism in the relationships between generations can be manifested both within the family and in the public arena. The present study compares levels of support between age groups 40-49,50-59, 60-69, 70-79, and 80+ on a series of attitudes about “appropriate” parent-child relations and governmental programs for older people. On both kinds of measures, older people tend consistently to be least likely to adopt the “pro-elderly” position. This association is maintained when controls are introduced in multivariate analyses. Altruism, not self-interest, seems to govern the attitudes of the older generation in this sample. This finding should mitigate potential conflicts over issues of intergenerational equity and fairness, both within the family and in public policy.


Adult Child Senior Citizen Public Program Family Obligation Intergenerational Equity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Population Association of America 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • John R. Logan
    • 1
  • Glenna D. Spitze
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyState University of New York at AlbanyAlbany

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