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FSD3256 Generational Transmissions in Finland, Baby Boomers' Adult Children 2012

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Authors

  • Rotkirch, Anna (Family Federation of Finland. Population Research Institute)
  • Haavio-Mannila, Elina (University of Helsinki)
  • Roos, Jeja-Pekka (University of Helsinki)
  • Danielsbacka, Mirkka (University of Helsinki)
  • Tanskanen, Antti O. (University of Helsinki)

Keywords

care of the elderly, child care, family members, friends, generations (age), grandchildren, grandparents, informal care, interpersonal relations, offspring, parents, social networks

Abstract

The study charted contacts of Finnish baby boomers' adult children with relatives and friends as well as giving and receiving help. The study was funded by the Academy of Finland (project id 250620) and Alli Paasikivi Foundation. FSD's holdings also include data on baby boomers collected in the same research project (FSD3255).

First, the respondents were asked whether they kept up their health and whether they suffered from a long-term illness or a permanent injury. They were asked whether they considered themselves happy, if they considered religion important in their lives, and whether they had participated in charity or voluntary work within the previous year.

Next, the number and gender of the respondents' children were enquired. The birth year of the respondents' and their spouses' parents was charted as well as whether the parents were still alive. More questions were asked regarding the respondents' and their spouses' living parents, such as how far away they lived, how the respondents perceived their state of health and financial circumstances, and how often they had been in contact within the previous year. They were also asked how close they were, whether they had had conflicts, and how often within the previous year the respondents had provided their own or their spouses' parents with practical or financial help. It was also enquired how often the parents had babysat the respondents' children or provided them with different kinds of help, and if the respondents had felt the need to restrict their parents ability to contact the respondents' children.

Similar questions were also asked about siblings: how many brothers and sisters the respondents had, when they were born, whether they all shared the same parents, how far away they lived, how the respondents perceived their financial circumstances, how often they had been in contact, whether they had had conflicts, and whether they had received and provided help. It was also asked whether the respondents felt that their parents had treated all siblings equally, whether the siblings had children, whether they had babysat the respondents' children, and how often the respondents had been in contact with their siblings' children or provided them with financial help.

Next, similar questions were asked about grandparents: whether they were alive, when they were born, and how often the respondents had contacted them within the previous year. Frequency of contacting other relatives, such as aunts and uncles, and friends during the previous year was also examined as well as whether they had babysat the respondents' children or provided practical or financial help, and whether the respondents themselves had provided such help to these people. The respondents were also asked how many close friends they perceived to have and how many relatives they considered 'close'.

Attitudinal statements examined the respondents' views on whether grandparents have the responsibility to babysit their grandchildren, to advance grandchildren's and their families' financial security, and to take care of grandchildren if parents are not able to, as well as whether it is natural for daughters to take more responsibility than sons in caring for their aged parents, and whether children have the responsibility to take their parents to live with them when they are no longer able to live independently. Finally, the respondents were asked how responsibility should be shared between society and family concerning financial support to the elderly, helping the elderly with everyday chores, and caring for the elderly, and the respondents' opinions on giving and receiving help was charted with regard to whether they expected to be helped themselves in the future when providing help to others, whether they only provided help to those relatives or friends that they liked, and whether friends and relatives demanded too much of the respondents.

Background variables included, among others, gender, marital status, own and spouse's birth year, economic activity (own and spouse's), education (own and spouse's), household composition, net monthly income, and perceived financial status.

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