Receiving support and care in older age: Comparing LAT relationships with first marriages, remarriages, and cohabitation

Marjolein Broese van Groenou*, Saskia te Riele, Jenny de Jong Gierveld

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Living apart together (LAT) combines intimacy with autonomy and flexibility but, possibly, with lower commitment to exchanging support and care compared with first marriages, remarriages, and cohabitation of older adults. Data from 50- to 79-year-old respondents in the Family and Fertility Survey 2013 (Statistics Netherlands; N = 4,108) showed that older LAT partners are most often involved in exchanging emotional support. No differences were found in the receipt of daily care. Multivariate analyses showed that receiving support and care from the partner was associated with more health problems, higher quality of the partner relationship, and a broader support network. When in poor health, LAT partners were less likely to receive daily care, but not emotional support, from their partner compared with the other types. Partner relationships in later life are well equipped to provide emotional support, but partner care is facilitated largely by help from others.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1786-1807
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Family Issues
Volume40
Issue number13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019

Keywords

  • cohabitation
  • daily personal care
  • emotional support
  • living apart together
  • marriage
  • older adults
  • remarriage

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