Families, Ageing and Social Policy
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Families, Ageing and Social Policy

Intergenerational Solidarity in European Welfare States

Edited by Chiara Saraceno

This important book offers valuable insights into the way in which social policies and welfare state arrangements interact with family and gender models. It presents the most up-to-date research in the field, based on a variety of national and comparative sources and using different theoretical and methodological approaches. The authors address different forms of support (care, financial, emotional) and employ a bi-directional perspective, exploring both giving and receiving across generations. They illustrate that understanding how generations interact in families helps to reformulate the way issues of intergenerational equity are discussed when addressing the redistributive impact of the welfare state through pensions and health services.
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Chapter 8: The Effects of Separation and Divorce on Parent–Child Relationships in Ten European Countries

Matthijs Kalmijn


8. The effects of separation and divorce on parent–child relationships in ten European countries Matthijs Kalmijn INTRODUCTION Numerous studies have demonstrated a negative long-term effect of divorce on father–child relationships. Compared to married fathers, divorced fathers see their adult children less frequently, receive less instrumental support from them in old age, and their children evaluate the relationship more often as poor (Lye 1996). There are several reasons for this. First, after divorce, mothers usually gain custody which reduces the father’s role in the upbringing of the children (Seltzer 1991). As a result, the father has fewer opportunities to invest in his children and this may have negative effects on what he receives from the children when they are older (Spitze and Logan 1989). Second, divorced fathers may see their adult children less frequently because of sex-role specialisation during marriage. Hence, when gender roles are divided along traditional lines, married men benefit from a wife who takes care of family matters, for instance, by arranging visits from children and buying presents for the children’s birthday (Hagestad 1986; Rosenthal 1985). When men divorce, they not only lose a spouse, they also lose a kinkeeper, which may explain part of the decline in intergenerational contact (Kalmijn 2007). A third possible reason for reduced contact is that divorced fathers may exhibit more behavioural problems. Research has shown that behavioural problems on the part of fathers are often a reason for divorce. Examples are mental health problems, substance abuse...

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