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Childless Elderly: What Are They Missing?

Judith Rempel
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 47, No. 2 (May, 1985), pp. 343-348
DOI: 10.2307/352134
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/352134
Page Count: 6
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Childless Elderly: What Are They Missing?
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Abstract

The value of children to their elders as emotional, physical, financial, and other supports is widely asserted and empirically supported. Many of today's elderly do not have children and, therefore, do not have this particular mutual support relationship. Using the 1979 Social Change in Canada data base, the subjective and objective experiences of noninstitutionalized childless and parent elderly are compared. The results show few statistically significant differences between the two categories of elderly, but trends show benefits for both. The childless are more financially secure and in better health, while parents tend to be surrounded by greater numbers of friends and have more general satisfaction with life.

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