دوبرابر شدن: یک هدیه و یا شرم؟ خانواده بین نسلی و افسردگی والدین قدیمی تر اروپایی هایی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|29757||2015||7 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||8103 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Social Science & Medicine, Available online 30 March 2015
The Great Recession has brought along a rearrangement of living patterns both in the U.S. and in Europe. This study seeks to identify the consequences of a change in intergenerational coresidence on the depression level of the elderly. Using data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) and a difference-in-difference propensity score matching approach, we find robust evidence of a positive effect of coresidence on the mental health of the older generation in those European countries historically marked by a Catholic tradition. In contrast with previous literature, our program evaluation setup accounts for non-random selection bias and heterogeneous treatment effects. Though heterogeneous across Europe, our results highlight that, in a time marked by increasing demographic aging, intergenerational living arrangements can lead to significant improvements in the quality of life of older individuals.
Multigenerational living arrangements have been on the rise for the last few decades, both in the U.S. (Kochhar and Cohn, 2011; Taylor et al., 2012) and in Europe (Corselli-Nordblad, 2010; Choroszewicz and Wolff, 2010). Likewise, in recent years a growing number of young adults are moving back into their parents’ home – arguably a strategic and protective response to the economic hardships and high unemployment rates brought about by the Great Recession (Mykyta, 2012; Kaplan, 2012). This sharp increase in the number of households where more than one generation of adults decide to “double up” has gained increasing social and economic importance due to its far-reaching implications to the public support systems in today’s aging societies. The causes of multigenerational household arrangements are without a doubt of great interest and importance. However, in this study we shift our attention to the analysis and measurement of its effects, which have been greatly disregarded in the literature – especially so for individuals belonging to the 50+ age group. So far, solid empirical evidence of the effects of coresidence on the health of the elderly is scarce. Much has been said and done about the effects of leaving or returning to the parents’ household on the younger generation (Taylor et al., 2012; Parker, 2012; Mykyta, 2012; Wiemers, 2014; Kaplan, 2012), but how do older adults fare when such changes take place? This paper aims at advancing the literature by separating the causal effect of doubling up on the quality of life of older Europeans from potential confounding factors. Using longitudinal data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), it seeks in particular to untangle the impact of a coresidence change on the psychological health of the elderly – as proxied by a self-reported depression index. Attesting a causal link is a challenging empirical task. We adopt econometric techniques from the program evaluation literature to do so. A non-parametric difference-in-difference (DID) propensity score matching approach (Heckman et al., 1997; Heckman, Ichimura, Smith and Todd, 1998; Smith and Todd, 2005) is used to assess the causal effect of a child moving in or outside the household (“treatment”) on the depression level of elder Europeans. The treatment group consists of elderly parents who experience such transition from one wave to the next, while the coresidence status for the control group remains unchanged. The use of a simple linear regression framework to unveil the link between coresidence and depression is inhibited by the likely existence of confounding factors. For instance, reverse causality may exist as an increase in parental depression and mental deterioration may induce the coresidence choice of adult children. Moreover, selection bias may arise as respondents with certain characteristics – both observable and not – are more likely to join an intergenerational living arrangement. We exploit the longitudinal nature of the SHARE data to account for the earlier bias and rid the estimates from unobservable time-invariant traits, while matching techniques are employed to minimize non-random selection into coresidence based on observed individual attributes. Subsequently, the robustness of our results to the presence of omitted variables is thoroughly investigated through a series of statistical tests. Though common, these confounding factors have rarely been addressed by previous studies on this topic. The results are summarized in three key findings. First, a change in coresidence has no sizable effects on parental depression when all countries are pooled together. This is arguably due to heterogeneous treatment effects across European regions canceling each other out. Second, a structural divide emerges when the sample is split into two macroregions with historically divergent values. In particular, the effect of a change in coresidence on depression moves in opposite directions depending on whether a country is marked by a Protestant or a Catholic tradition. Parental depression never increases significantly after a double up; however, it does decrease significantly – by a magnitude of 19% – when the transition into coresidence takes place in Catholic Europe. To our knowledge, this constitutes pioneering evidence of the substantial heterogeneity in the coresidence effect. Third, the dissolution of shared households has no impact on the outcome of interest in neither macroregion, reflecting the common belief that an adult child’s move into independent living is a signal of success. 1.1. Literature Review Previous research has identified a wide range of indicators linking social support to both physical and mental wellbeing. In particular, a positive association between loneliness and depression in old age is consistent in the literature (e.g., Green et al., 1992; Singh and Misra, 2009; Luo et al., 2012; Riumallo-Herl et al., 2014). Social support from adult children has been shown to buffer the adverse effects of negative life events – such as widowhood – on mental wellbeing ( Silverstein and Bengtson, 1994; Li et al., 2005; Mazzella et al., 2010). Contrastingly, the association between the elderly’s living arrangements and their wellbeing is still a topic of ongoing debate: while some studies have shown a positive effect of coresidence with adult children ( Zunzunegui et al., 2001; Hughes and Waite, 2002; Okabayashi et al., 2004; Chen and Short, 2008), others have found a negative or null effect ( Chyi and Mao, 2012; Lowenstein and Katz, 2005). The present study seeks to complement these strands of literature by examining the effect of coresidence choices on the mental wellbeing of the older European generation. In what follows, Section 2 describes the data, the main variables, and models the coresidence problem. In Section 3 the results are presented and justified through a series of balancing tests. Finally, the robustness of our results is attested in Section 4, followed by a brief discussion and concluding remarks in Section 5
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
In the last decade or so, intergenerational households in the developed world have been on the rise, reverting a post-WWII trend of independent living. In particular, an increasing number of parents and their adult children are doubling up into the same household. This paper examines whether depression levels of older Europeans are affected by changes in coresidence with their adult children. Although treatment effects prove heterogeneous across European regions, a double up seems to be accompanied by a greater peace of mind of older generations living in traditionally Catholic European countries. Among the main exogenous causes behind this social occurrence arguably stands the harsh economic situation brought about in the last decade by the Great Recession. By producing shocks to coresidence trends, negative economic situations may result in increasingly supportive household conditions for the older generation. The logic goes as follows: recessions and economic difficulties increase the chances that the elderly share a household with their children, who in turn provide support, social interaction, and companionship to their parents. By decreasing loneliness and solo-living, this fulfillment of family roles results in an increase in emotional wellbeing of the older generation. Although no such link is observed in traditionally Protestant countries, the results for Catholic Europe support the consistently-found positive association between loneliness and depression in old age. Ths finding is all the more remarkable considering that recessions have long been associated with increased suicide rates and diminished mental health (Ruhm, 2003; Charles and DeCicca, 2008). Several data limitations leave room for improvement. In particular, a) although three waves are the minimum required to test it, more time points would definitely allow for a more in-depth assessment of the parallel trends assumption; b) knowing with certainty whether it was the child to move back to the parents’ home or vice-versa is unfeasible; c) the number of observed children characteristics is sub-optimal, which may inhibit matching accuracy; and d) the motives behind the coresidence decision remain largely unknown. Data improvements in all these areas would permit a better identification of important dynamics in intergenerational living arrangements. Although small sample sizes result in reduced estimation efficiency and in some cases may hinder generalizability of results, our findings evidence the necessity of accounting for latent environmental factors when conducting research on mental health. In an aging European society where the mental health of older individuals is of growing concern, these findings are not to be taken lightly – especially so in the current climate of slow economic recovery where long-term shocks to living arrangements are expected to continue. Most long-term care policy developments over the past decade have pursued shifts (i) away from institutional care and towards home-based solutions; (ii) away from public provisions and towards alternative private or mixed services supported by cash transfers; and (iii) seeking to complement rather than replace informal care. By highlighting the gains in psychological wellbeing for the elderly, our findings support the development and implementation of home-based solutions to LTC, where the emotional support provided by children in certain cultural backgrounds is complementary to other forms of professional care. In line with Giordano and Lindstrm (2011), welfare solutions must be carefully thought out to avoid creating perverse incentives that lead to reductions in family capital investments and a worsening in mental health.