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The strengths of intergenerational ties in the COVID-19 pandemic: a comparative study.

During the 2020 pandemic, experts have referred to the "changing" or even "detrimental" impact of the recent lockdowns on family relations. Most claims were based on anecdotal evidence or, at best, at small-scale non-representative ad hoc surveys. This study will gain insights in intergenerational relationships drawing on nationally representative samples in a European comparative perspective. The topic of intergenerational relationships deserves close attention as the need for self-isolation has been higher for elderly during the virus outbreak. At the same time, older people strongly depend on interpersonal exchanges since relatives are crucial in their social network, support supply and well-being. Hence, the elderly may face a double adversity: the impact of infection and, indirectly, the greater hindrances of social confinement. This research aims to assess the changing vulnerabilities in family relations in the light of the 2020 pandemic. The important question arises whether intergenerational relationships are strengthened or weakened and how family characteristics play their role in this process. The project studies three aspects: intergenerational contact, informal support and well-being. In particular, it targets the impact of gender, household composition and socio-economic status. Using the COVID-19-tailored SHARE survey data for 50 000 Europeans aged 50+ collected in 27 countries, the study also addresses the heterogeneity in policy and social contexts.
Date:1 Nov 2020  →  Today
Disciplines:Family and household studies, Generations and intergenerational relations, Sociology of life course, family and health not elsewhere classified
Project type:Collaboration project