Intergenerational Assistance to Adult Children


family relationships, family solidarity, gender and family, household labor, intergenerational, Middletown, parent/child relations, siblings, sisters


This study considers how the number of sisters and brothers affects the flow of aid from older parents to adult children. Using data from the 2004 Middletown Kinship Survey (N = 338), the authors find that the aid adults receive from their parents varies by the gender composition of the sibship. Adults with more sisters tend to receive less assistance from their older parents. This holds true across a range of helping behaviors, including financial, gifts, transportation, housework and yard work, and technology. The pattern does not hold for brothers. Possible explanations include resource dilution (daughters drawing more on parents’ resources, leaving fewer resources to go around) or cooperative networks created among sisters (thus rendering aid from parents less necessary).

Original Publication Citation

Todd L. Goodsell, Spencer L. James, Jeremy B. Yorgason, and Vaughn R.A. Call. 2015.“Intergenerational Assistance to Adult Children: Gender and Number of Sisters andBrothers.” Journal of Family Issues 36(8): 979-1000.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Journal of Family Issues




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor