Determinants of Support among Older People: A Comparative Study of Costa Rica, Spain and England

Karen F. Glaser, King's College London
Luis Rosero-Bixby, Universidad de Costa Rica
Maria Dolores Puga, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)
Emily M. Agree, Johns Hopkins University
Teresa Castro Martin, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)

Global population ageing has led to considerable disquiet about future support for frail older people; however, the determinants are poorly understood. Our study compares Costa Rica, Spain and England because they provide an opportunity to compare family support across cultures that have all experienced similar changes in family behaviour (e.g. fertility declines and rises in divorce) yet differ in terms of the degree of familism and the prevalence of informal unions. Using data from the 2005/6 Costa Rican Estudio de Longevidad y Envejecimiento Saludable (CRELES), the 2005 Spanish Procesos de Vulnerabilidad en la Vejez (PVV), and the 2002/3 English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA), we investigate the relationship between family structure (e.g. number and types of kin), union type, other key socio-demographic determinants (e.g. health) and support (i.e. coresidence, contact, and receipt of help) in later life. Preliminary results show considerable variation across countries in support received and its determinants.

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Presented in Session 30: Family Support, Social Welfare and Population Aging in Latin America