Pathways of Intergenerational Support between Parents and Children throughout Adulthood


Lee, Bo-Hyeong Jane & Manzoni, Anna (2023). Pathways of Intergenerational Support between Parents and Children throughout Adulthood. Sociological Perspectives.


This paper examines varying patterns of exchanges in financial and residential support between parents and children. We apply a life course perspective to explore how patterns of intergenerational support unfold throughout adulthood. Using Waves 3 to 5 of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, we conduct a repeated measure latent class analysis and identify six pathways of intergenerational exchange. About one-third of individuals have minimal intergenerational exchange while the majority share some form of residential and financial assistance with their parents between their late teens and early forties. Upward and downward intergenerational exchanges are most common among Blacks, Hispanics, and families with less formal educational backgrounds, whereas pathways of complete independence are most common among White families. This paper challenges the notion of complete independence as a necessary marker of adulthood and maps out the diverse patterns of intergenerational exchange along multiple dimensions over the life course.



Intergenerational support

Reference Type

Journal Article

Journal Title

Sociological Perspectives


Lee, Bo-Hyeong Jane
Manzoni, Anna

Year Published



August 31, 2023



Reference ID