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Journal Article

Crowded nests: parent-adult child coresidence transitions and parental mental health following the Great Recession

Caputo, J.

Journal of Health and Social Behavior (2019)

DOI:10.1177/0022146519849113

Abstract

Although many studies have examined contemporary increases in parent–adult child coresidence, questions about what this demographic shift means for the well-being of parents remain. This article draws on insights from the life course perspective to investigate the relationship between parent–adult child coresidence and parental mental health among U.S. adults ages 50+, distinguishing between parents stably living with and without adult children and those who transitioned into or out of coresidence with an adult child. Based on analyses of the 2008 to 2012 waves of the Health and Retirement Study (N = 11,277), parents with a newly coresidential adult child experienced an increase in depressive symptoms relative to their peers without coresidential adult children. Further analyses suggest that transitions to coresidence that occurred in the southern United States or involved out-of-work children were particularly depressing for parents. These findings highlight the significance of evolving intergenerational living arrangements for the well-being of older adults.

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