The purpose of this article is to highlight the importance of taking gender and generational position seriously in research on intergenerational family relations, using as illustration the association between parents' marital status and perceived quality of the relationship between parents and adult children. The data stem from the Norwegian Life-course, Generations and Gender Study (N = 15,156). Findings revealed the importance of considering who is being asked and which parent-child dyad (mother-son, mother-daughter, father-son, and father-daughter) is in question. Respondents' generational position mattered considerably. Parents perceived the relationship as more positive, compared to views of adult children. The contrast was magnified when parents were divorced. How gender mattered differed by generational position. Mothers perceived the relationship quality as higher than fathers did, whereas daughters rated the quality as lower, compared to sons. When parents were divorced, data from children showed stronger dyad contrasts than parent-derived data.
The article examines the question of how the selfreported financial situation has an effect on the actual birth of additional children in regard to generational support and migration background. The hypotheses to be tested are based on economic theories and research on the importance of economic uncertainty for fertility. Based on multivariate analyses of the two waves of the German Generations and Gender Survey, neither the individual financial situation, nor the relations between generations can be detected as effects on family expansion. The results show, however, that Turkish citizens differ in their migration experience in comparison to those who have immigrated in childhood or were born in Germany in terms of the explanatory factors. Factors like age of the woman, number and age of children are crucial in all groups under study.
This article explores the strength and character of responsibility norms between older parents and adult children in a European context. Data from the ‘Generations and Gender Survey’ are analysed to compare seven countries from the North West to the South East of Europe: Norway, Germany, France, Romania, Bulgaria, Russia and Georgia. Norm strength is measured as the level of support for filial and parental responsibility norms. Character differences are indicated by how conditional the norms are, and how they are balanced between the younger and older generations. The general findings are in line with the family culture hypothesis – family norms are stronger towards the East and South of the continent, with Norway and Georgia as the extreme cases. National differences are considerable for filial norms, but moderate for parental norms. Parental responsibility is relatively stronger in the North West, filial responsibility in the South East. Family norms have a more open character in the West, where the limits to responsibility are widely recognised. Women are less supportive of family obligations than men. It is suggested that where the welfare state is more developed, it has moderated the demanding character of family obligations and allowed a more independent relationship between the generations to form. The level of support for filial obligation is for these reasons a poor indicator for family cohesion in more developed welfare states.