Familie, velferdsstat og aldring.
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Summary The report focuses on solidarity between adult generations, more specifically what responsibility adult children have towards older parents, how responsibilities should be divided between the family and the welfare state, and how the two impact on each other. Data was collected through the European comparative study OASIS, Old age and autonomy - the role of services systems and intergenerational family solidarity. The project was financed through the EU fifth framework program, and carried out in Norway, England, Germany, Spain, and Israel. Individual level data were collected via parallel surveys (interviews) among the urban populations aged 25 and over in each of the five participating countries. National samples counted about 1 200, around 6 100 in total. The older participants (aged 75+) were oversampled to represent around 1/3 of the samples.The project was motivated by the assumed threat to family solidarity in late modern and individualist society (Chapter 1). Of particular interest is the relationship between the family and the welfare state. What is a reasonable and sustainable balance? These questions need be studied in context, hence a comparative approach was seen as appropriate. The countries were therefore selected to represent different family cultures and welfare state regimes. They are located along a north-south axis, which according to Reher (1998) divides European families into a southern more collectivist form, and a northern more individualist type. The five countries also represent different welfare state regimes; the social democratic (Norway), the liberal (England, and the conservative-corporatist (Germany), to stay within the Esping-Andersen typology (1990). Spain has as yet a less mature welfare state, while the fifth country, Israel, is a mixed model.The macro conditions of the countries are assumed to be reflected on the invidual and interpersonal (family) levels. Preferences and practices are assumed to be more or less congruent with the already established traditions, and to be more conform for the older than for the younger generation. The present balance is assumed to be fluid and under pressure from demographic and social change in all countries, but more so in countries that are later in these developments and are now confronted with more rapid changes. These assumptions are in OASIS explored in the strength and character of intergenerational family solidarity, and in the ideals and realities of the family-welfare state interaction.Welfare states differ in the responsibility they ascribe to families (Chapter 2). Some put the family in a dominant position, others assume that the welfare state should protect against dependency upon the family. The OASIS-countries are differently located along this dimension, hence they represent different opportunity structures for family life and elder care. They are facing similar challenges, but are inclined towards different solutions. Germany and Spain tend to favor familistic solutions, and give the state a subsidiary (Germany) or even a residual (Spain) role. They have legal obligations for adult children towards older parents and low levels of services on areas that are by tradition a family responsibility, like long-term care. England and Norway have no legal obligations between generations and higher levels of services on traditional family areas, in particular in Norway. Israel is a mixed case, with legal obligations as in Spain and Germany, but also with rather generous service levels.Are these patterns reflected in public opinion and personal preferences? Do people support the established policies, or do they push for change? Of interest is also to investigate consensus and contrasts in attitudes within the five countries, for example between women and men, the younger and the older. Knowledge about actual help provision is important, but so also is knowledge about norms and attitudes because people tend to act accordingly if opportunity allows it.The intergenerational solidarity model (Bengtson & Roberts 1991) is employed as a research instrument and measures solidarity along six dimensions - structural, associational, consensual, affectional, functional, and normative solidarity. Ambivalence has more recently been introduced as an alternative perspective (LöƒÂ¼scher & Pillemer 1998). Intergenerational relations are seen as inherently ambivalent and characterised by mixed feelings and contradicting expectations that family members need to cope with. These adaptive changes may have been misinterpreted as a breakdown of family solidarity in stead of a change in how solidarity is expressed.Affectional solidarity (Chapter 3) is considerable. Both parties say they feel very close, but parents more so than children. Conflict levels are low as seen from both sides of the relationships, while both parties - and in particular the children - allow a difference of opinion without this being seen as a threat to the relationship. The presumably tighter spanish family shows primarily in structural and associational solidarity. Generations live closer and have more often contact in Spain compared to the more northern countries. This is mainly explained by the higher co-residence rates in Spain, but shared living is often enforced more than chosen, and is then more likely an indicator of (lack of) opportunity than of solidarity.Exchange of help and support (functional solidarity) is substantial in all five countries, and not less so in the northern family (Chapter 3). Exchanges are integral parts of daily life of nearly any family, but roles and resources change over the life course. Older people tend to be in the receiving end, but act also as providers of support. Starting out from the adult child perspective, the findings show that most adult children have provided one or several types of support to older parents during the last year. Emotional support is the most frequent form of support, followed by instrumental help. Only few children provide personal care to older parents, probably because few parents are this frail, and if so, they may already have moved to an institution. Adult children are as a general rule the net providers in the exchange relationship to older parents; they give more than they receive. Older parents provide first of all emotional support to adult children, and in some countries (Norway, Germany, Israel) also money. Instrumental help is flowing upwards in the family line, financial support flow downwards if and when pension levels allow it.Normative solidarity (Chapter 4) is indicated by the support for filial obligation norms; the extent to which adult children are obligated to help their older parents. The majority support such norms in all five countries, but more so in Spain and Israel than in Norway, England, and Germany. This trend is consistent with Rehers (1998) suggestion that the southern family are tighter than the northern. The main impression is, however, that normative solidarity is substantial also in northern countries, even in a universalist welfare state like Norway. This is even more so as the samples were drawn from large cities, and do not include smaller towns and rural areas which may be assumed to be even more familistic. Hence, neither urbanisation nor welfare state expansion seem to have eroded filial obligations.The focus in Chapter 5 is on what people find is a reasonable balance of responsibilities between the family and the welfare state, and what their personal preferences are. Public opinion is found to vary considerably between the countries. The welfare state is seen as the main responsible in Norway and by a (smaller) majority also in Israel. A more even split is favoured in the other three countries. A common trend is that the majority in all five countries favours some form of complementarity between the family and the welfare state, but the complementarity takes different forms. The welfare state is assumed to have the major responsibility in Norway and Israel with the family in a supplementary role. Itö‚'s the other way around in Germany and Spain, with England in an intermediate position. Attitudes are more or less congruent with the actual policies, but public opinion leans more heavily towards a welfare state responsibility than is presently implemented. The contrast between ideals and realities is greater in low-service countries, implying a greater tension between policy and opinion in these countries.Gender differences are small; hence the female dominance in actual care provision is more likely imposed upon them, not chosen. Age differences are also modest. Older people are not more traditional (familialistic) than are the younger. Spain is an exception, while Norway has high degree of consensus in these matters across gender and age. The older generation is in fact more inclined to push responsibilities on the welfare state than are the younger. Personal preferences lean even more towards services than do the more general attitudes. The great majority of Norwegians state a preference for services over family care if they should come to need help in old age. A corresponding majority would prefer institutional care over living with a child if they could no longer live by themselves. Preferences are more moderately biased towards the welfare state in three of the other four countries. Spain stands out with a majority in favour of family care, but only among the older generation.Chapter 6 analyses the actual distribution of help to elders in need. The family and the organised services are the dominant sources of help, but in different combinations. Families are dominant on all leves of needs in Spain, while services - and then mainly public services - are the major source of help among the most needy in Norway. The total help rate (from all sources) is higher in a high-service country like Norway than in a family dominated system like Spain, while the volume of family care is only moderately lower in Norway, indicating that service systems and families tend to supplement rather than substitute each other. There is little or no support in these trends for the idea that older people are diserted by their families and pushed over on services as a secondary option. Family solidarity need not be threatened by alternative or complementary services, and each party may have qualities that are not easily replaced by the other. Hence complementarity is more likely than substitution.Considering that affection and exchange levels are rather substantial in five otherwise different countries, they indicate that solidarity is general and considerable although not universal. While country differences are moderate in the more general features of solidarity, they are far larger in the more concrete attitudes about how policies and services should be organised. If this is a valid observation, then intergenerational family solidarity may have a rather stable and general character, but find different expressions in practice when circumstances and conditions change. This suggestion indicates a need to clarify what should indeed be ment by solidarity. We have therefore in the concluding Chapter 7 conducted a series of factor analysis in order to explore the solidarity concept and model. The findings give conditional support to a simplified variant of the solidarity model. A general finding is a four factor solution. Affection comes out first and includes consensus. Conflict comes out next as a distinct factor. Third is a joint factor for structural and associational solidarity, while giving and receiving support (functional solidarity) is the fourth factor. Normative solidarity is in most cases not included in any of these factors, and is apparently a distinct aspect of intergenerational relationships that may be combined with different ways of relating to each other.Family life has been, and to some extent still is, structured by material necessities and enforced duties which makes it difficult to separate the truly solidary motivations from external pressures. These are among the reasons why it is difficult to compare families across time and cultures. Solidarity may be easier to observe and separate from external pressures today than in earlier times, but the mechanisms and processes that have produced the solidary patterns may have become more complex.Rapporten belyser solidaritet mellom familiegenerasjoner, nærmere bestemt hvilket ansvar voksne barn har for eldre foreldre, hvordan ansvarsdelingen mellom familien og velferdsstaten er, og hvordan den etter befolkningens syn bør være. Ligger det en trussel mot familiesolidaritet i framveksten av velferdsstaten og økt individualisering? Rapporten tar også opp hvordan familien og velferdsstaten påvirker hverandre, og hva vi i mer teoretisk forstand skal forstå med familiesolidaritet. Dataene ble samlet inn gjennom det europeisk komparative prosjektet OASIS, Old age and autonomy - the role of services systems and intergenerational family solidarity. Fem land med ulik familiekultur og velferdspolitikk deltok i studien, Norge, England, Tyskland, Spania og Israel. Dette gir muligheter for å studere forholdet mellom familie, velferdsstat og aldring under ulike betingelser. Et tilfeldig utvalg av storbybefolkningen i alderen 25 år og over ble intervjuet i hvert land, ca. 1 200 i hvert land, til sammen ca. 6 000.