Whose responsibility? Elder support norms regarding the provision and financing of assistance with daily activities across economically developed countries

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We use 2012 data on economically developed countries from the International Social Survey Program to examine variation in “cultural norms” (at the world region and country levels) and “attitudes” (at the individual level) regarding the appropriate roles of family members and formal providers in both the provision and financing of assistance with daily activities at home. Our analysis has two parts: (1) a descriptive analysis of differences in cultural norms by world region and country (N = 25 countries) and (2) a multilevel multinomial logistic regression analysis of the importance of country-level factors in explaining individuals’ elder support attitudes (N = 21 countries). In the descriptive analysis, we find substantial variation in cultural norms both between world regions and between countries within all world regions except for the Nordic countries. The multilevel regression analysis points to the importance of two sets of country-level factors—“macrostructural factors” and “cultural–contextual factors”—in explaining individuals’ elder support attitudes. With regard to macrostructural factors, we find, consistent with our hypotheses, greater support for “publicly financed formal assistance” (i.e., the financing of formal assistance is supported by public funds) in countries with higher spending on services. The effects of the cultural–contextual factors are mostly consistent with our hypotheses and suggest the importance of taking into account the wider religious and political context in explaining individuals’ elder support attitudes. We conclude with a discussion of the social scientific and social policy implications of our findings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-108
Number of pages14
JournalEuropean Journal of Ageing
Volume17
Issue number1
Early online date10 May 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020

Keywords

  • attitudes
  • norms
  • elder care
  • cross-national research
  • social policy

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