How many elders receive assistance? A cross-national comparison

Adam Davey, Elia E. Femia, Dennis G. Shea, Steven H. Zarit, Gerdt Sundström, Stig Berg, Michael A. Smyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Objectives: To examine models of informal support received by elders in the United States and Sweden and to test whether differences in informal support appear to stem from demographic differences between the nations alone or whether cultural and historical differences must also be considered. Methods: Samples with similar functional dependence, age 75 and older in the United States (n = 4,677) and Sweden (n = 1,378), were used to model cross- national differences in the association between country, age, sex, potential availability of kin support, and receipt of informal assistance. Results: Patterns of informal help were higher in the United States than in Sweden but were qualified by higher order interactions among age, sex, and availability of kin support. Discussion: Cultural differences predating current policies in both countries appear to influence informal support over and above what can be accounted for by demographic differences alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-220
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Aging and Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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