Actively generating one's family: How elders shape their family configurations

TitleActively generating one's family: How elders shape their family configurations
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsWidmer, E, Girardin, M
EditorScabini, E, Rossi, G
Book TitleL'allungamento della vita. Une risorsa per la famiglia, un'opportunità per la società
Volume28
Pagination85-104
PublisherVita E Pensiero
Place PublishedMilan, Italie
Keywordsfamily configurations, Family diversity, family weness, later life, patterns of conflict and support, social capital
Abstract

This study explores the ways by which family weness is shaped in later life, and how it relates to social capital, conflict and ambivalence. Data were derived from a sub sample of 578 elders (aged 65 and older) from the Vivre/Leben/Vivere ( VLV ) study, a large survey addressing family life and health conditions of older people in Switzerland. We identified six family configurations: ‘‘Conjugal’’, ‘‘Son’’, ‘‘Daughter’’, ‘Sibling’’, ‘‘Kinship’’, and ‘‘Sparse’’. These were associated with different key life course factors and gave rise to different types of social capital and to distinct patterns of ambivalence. With the pluralization of life courses, individuals develop various ways of creating their family weness which has indeed an impact on family resources in later life.

Refereed DesignationRefereed