Socioeconomic Characteristics and Health in Old Age: Intergenerational Influences in the Chinese Family

Toshiko Kaneda, Population Reference Bureau (PRB)
Zachary Zimmer, University of Utah
Xianghua Fang, Beijing Municipal Network for Health & Care of the Elderly
Zhe Tang, Beijing Municipal Network for Health & Care of the Elderly

Most research on socioeconomic status (SES) and health focuses on SES of individuals, but more recent studies have also examined links between SES of family members, often parents, and one’s own health in adult life. This study examines the effects of adult children’s occupation on health of older adults above and beyond the effect of their own occupation in China. Preliminary results show that having a coresident son with high occupational status is a significant predictor of both whether an older adult has died or become functionally dependent at the end of a five-year study period. In contrast, older adult’s own occupational status significantly predicted only functional status but not mortality. Additional analysis planned for this paper will examine how much actual interactions and the types and levels of support exchanged between older adults and family members account for the impact of coresident son’s occupation on health in old age.

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Presented in Poster Session 7