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Journal Article

Differences over time in the relationship between partnership disruptions and support in early old age in Britain


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Objectives. We examined variations over time in the relationship between past partnership disruption (due to divorce, separation, and death) and present support (coresidence with, help to and from, and contact with children) in early old age in Britain.
Methods. Employing data from the 2001/2 British Household Panel Survey and the 1988/9 Survey of Retirement and Retirement Plans, we investigated whether differences in support over time were due to changes in (a) the composition of the population (e.g., the percentage divorced) or (b) the strength of the covariates (e.g., the effect of divorce).
Results. Our findings showed an increase in the experience of partnership disruption in early old age. Nonetheless, the percentage of people who reported receiving and providing support increased. A comparison of the two points in time showed that there was little change in the effects of partnership disruptions on support in early old age.
Discussion. The fact that the level of support has remained stable or increased over time among this age group despite the increasing prevalence of divorce suggests that the negative effect of partnership disruption on support in early old age may be weakening over time.

Published in

Journals of Gerontology: Series B: Psychological Sciences & Social Sciences


63 (6):S359-S368


Older People, Family Formation And Dissolution, and Social Capital



No doi given; NCBI/PubMed alert; Web of Knowledge alert; Albert Sloman Library Periodicals *restricted to Univ. Essex registered users*


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