Understanding Family Complexity in the Study of Intergenera - PowerPoint Presentation

Understanding Family Complexity in the Study of Intergenera
Understanding Family Complexity in the Study of Intergenera

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Evidence from the Longitudinal Study of Generations Merril Silverstein PhD Professor of Gerontology and Sociology Davis School of Gerontology Department of Sociology University of Southern California ID: 133679 Download Presentation

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Slide1

Understanding Family Complexity in the Study of Intergenerational Relationships:Evidence from the Longitudinal Study of Generations

Merril Silverstein, Ph.D.Professor of Gerontology and SociologyDavis School of GerontologyDepartment of SociologyUniversity of Southern CaliforniaSlide2

Families Through Historical Time

Increased longevity means greater co-survival between generations and prolonged relationships. Possible kinship issuesFertility declineHigher prevalence of divorce, remarriage, step-familiesGeographic distance increasingWeaker sense of filial obligation

How to study social change in real time instead of using retrospective reports or using “proxy” evidence?

How to better approach families systemically?Slide3
Slide4

Studies of Families and Social Change Using a single individual as informant about family process at one historical moment limits research questions that can be addressed

Use of retrospective reports has biasesCross-sectional comparisons regarding social change of interest (e.g., divorced vs. married) ignores socio-historical contextCohort studies in repeated cross-sections ignore intra-familial dependence and cannot address issues that require parent-child dataSlide5

5Generational-Sequential Design

Members of different generations in the same families measured at the same age but at different historical periods to test for effects of social conditions at a common life-stage.Useful for studying age-dependent processes where social conditions are also changing.Slide6

Comparison of Intergenerational Relations Across Historical Contexts

Historical/generational change in the quality of intergenerational relationshipsRequires early reports from parents and later reports from childrenHas the quality of older parent-child relations weakened over historical time?If so, is this related to:Increasing geographic distanceRising divorce ratesWeakening norms of familismSlide7

The USC Longitudinal Study of Generations (LSOG)

A multigenerational multi-time-point study, started in 1971 with repeated panels  2005.Consists of about 3,000 individuals from 374 three-generation families recruited within Southern California region.

Full families are surveyed: grandparents, parents, and grandchildren (16+), including siblings, spouses, former spouses.

Fourth generation added in 1991 (Fifth generation in 2010).Slide8

Design of LSOGSlide9

Multi-generational Family ClustersSlide10
Slide11
Slide12

Application of Generational Sequential DesignDo G3 children maintain less close relationship to their parents than G2 parents maintained with

their parents?Is so, does a G3-G2 difference persist after controlling for individual-level variables representing the “social change” of interest.Methodological individualism: characteristics of serial generations proxy the social change of interest by virtue of their unique historical/cohort experiences.Slide13

Sample & DesignData for this analysis from LSOG: 554 G2s in 1971 and their G3 children surveyed between 1991  2005.

G2s averaged 44 years of age in 1971.G3s reached the age of each parent somewhere between 1991-2005. For each G3 we use the survey that matches the closest to their parent’s 1971 age. Use multilevel modeling to estimate change in emotional closeness to parents over time in G2s and G3s, comparing (1) slopes and (2) levels at the historical time when they match in age.Slide14

Cross-Generational Comparisons in the LSOG

 

T1

T2

T3

T4

T5

T6

T7

T8

Year

1971

1985

1988

1991

1994

1997

2000

2005

G2

43

57

60

63

66

59

72

77

G3

20

34

37

40

43

46

49

54

G4

 

 

 

16

19

22

25

30Slide15

Cross-Generational Comparisons in the LSOG

 

T1

T2

T3

T4

T5

T6

T7

T8

Year

1971

1985

1988

1991

1994

1997

2000

2005

G2

43

57

60

63

66

59

72

77

G3

20

34

37

40

43

46

49

54

G4

 

 

 

16

19

22

25

30Slide16
Slide17
Slide18
Slide19

Multi-level Regression Results Predicting the G3-G2 Cohort Gap

**

*

**

**

*Slide20

20

Cross Generational-Sequential Transmission of values, attitudes, beliefs, behavioral tendencies across age-matched generations within the same families.Multi-actor data?Causal direction?Research questions focusing on interdependencies and influence across family actors over time call for unique approaches.Slide21

Religion is a family affair.Children are socialized to religious traditions by parents and grandparents

Do grandparents influence the values, attitudes, and beliefs of their grandchildren beyond the influence of parents, synergistically with parents, and as mediated by parents?Slide22

LSOG Data: Lagged TriadsGrandparents in 1971

(mean age =44)G2 = 257Parents in 1988 (mean age = 40)G3 = 341Grandchildren in 2005 (mean age = 31)G4 = 565 Slide23

Measures of Religiosity

PracticeAttendance at religious services: “never” to “everyday”SalienceImportance of “a religious life” ranked among 13 social valuesIdentityHow religious are you?: “not at all” to “very religious”BeliefsStrength of conservative religious beliefs: agreement with statements

God exists in the form as described in the Bible

All people today are descendents of Adam and Eve

All children should receive religious training

Religion should play an important role in daily life

Additive scale (standardized factor score) computed for each generationSlide24

Nesting of Grandchildren in Two Three-Generational Families: Basis for Multi-level Modeling

Grandparent: Red

Grandparent: Green

Parent #1

Parent #2

Parent #3

Parent #1

Parent #2Slide25

Empirical Results from Multilevel Models Transmission of Religiosity

Grandparent Religiosity

1971

Parent

Religiosity

1988

Grandchild

Religiosity

2004

.10*

.38***

.32***Slide26

Parents’ direct influence is almost four times that of grandparents, but grandparents

do

directly influence their grandchildren net of parents.

Grandparents also indirectly influence their grandchildren through parents. Total influence of grandparents (.22) is 58% that of parents (.38).

Source: Copen & Silverstein, 2007,

Journal of Comparative Family Studies

.Slide27

Grandchildren are most religious when both their parents and grandparents are more religious.

Suggests that several generations together reinforce a family culture of religiosity.Slide28

Grandparents are better able to transmit their religiosity to grandchildren within intact families.

Parental divorce is associated with less religiosity in their children; grandparents do not compensate.Slide29

Measures of Gender Role AttitudeHusbands ought to have the main say in family matters [Disagree]

Women’s liberation ideas make a lot of sense to me [Agree]It goes against nature to put women in positions of authority over men [Disagree]Women who want to remove the word “obey” from the marriage service don’t understand what it means to be a good wife. [Disagree]Additive scale (standardized factor score) computed for each generationSlide30

Grandmother Gender Role Attitudes

1971

Mother Role Attitudes

1988

Grandchild

Gender Role Attitudes

2005

.11

.16**

.09**

Mother Contact with Grandmother

1988

.10*

Empirical Results from Multilevel Models Transmission of Gender Role AttitudesSlide31

31

Longitudinal Generational-Sequential Design in the LSOG Using 14 YearsSlide32

Summary

Generational-sequential designs provide useful tools for understanding how societal change is manifest in micro-family environments and across multiple family members.Generational differences can be investigated with GSD in terms of change across cohortsIntergenerational ties weakening over historical time.And in terms of cross-cohort continuityIntergenerational transmission occurring (and possibly changing) over historical time.

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