ERIC Number: ED241875
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Affinal and Consanguineal Kin as a Social Support for the Rural Elderly. Paper of the Journal Series of the North Carolina Agricultural Research Service, Raleigh, NC.
Kivett, Vira R.
Although the support network of elderly individuals has received increased attention recently, most research has focused on the parent child relationship without examining other levels of kin interrelations. To examine the help received by rural-transitional older adults from their consanguineous kin (adult children, grandchildren, siblings, nieces, nephews, cousins) and from their affinal kin (spouses of consanguineous kin) in order to determine correlates of help received according to kin type, and to examine expectations for help, 321 older adults were surveyed. The subjects were working class, rural-transitional North Carolina residents, aged 65 to 96 years, 65 percent female. The 141-item questionnaire gathered information about demographics, income, health, morale, interaction patterns, expectations for help, and feelings of closeness. An analysis of the results showed that correlates of help at each kin level were similar and included degree of blood relatedness, proximity to kin, the need of the recipient as related to health, and the number and age of children. The female child or child-in-law, who was past the childbearing stage and who lived in close proximity to the older parent was most helpful to that parent. Kin beyond the child, child-in-law levels were of little functional importance in the helping network of older adults. Although these "other kin" appeared to be of little instrumental value in assistance and feelings of closeness, they played an important psychological role in the lives of these older adults. The results support the kin-selection theory in that helping behaviors were based on degree of consanguinity and associated marriage tie, and the extent of the older adult's dependency based on health. (Author/BL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society (36th, San Francisco, CA, November 17-22, 1983). For related document, see CG 017 373.