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Should the family or the state provide support for the elderly people? Findings from a two-generational Finnish study

Antti O. Tanskanen (Department of Social Research, University of Turku, Turku, Finland) (Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland)
Johanna Kallio (Department of Social Research, University of Turku, Turku, Finland)
Mirkka Danielsbacka (Department of Social Research, University of Turku, Turku, Finland)

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy

ISSN: 0144-333X

Article publication date: 19 November 2018

Issue publication date: 22 February 2019

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate public opinions towards elderly care. The authors analysed respondents’ opinions towards financial support, practical help and care for elderly people.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors used nationally representative data collected in Finland in 2012. Respondents represent an older generation (born between 1945 and 1950, n=1,959) and their adult children (born between 1962 and 1993, n=1,652).

Findings

First, the authors compared the opinions of older and younger Finns but did not find that older adults were more likely than younger adults support the state responsibility, or vice versa. It was also when only actual parent-child dyads (n=779) from same families were included. Next, the authors found that several socioeconomic and family-related variables were associated with public opinions of elderly care in both generations. For instance, in both generations lower-income individuals supported the state’s responsibility more compared to their better-off counterparts.

Originality/value

The study provides important knowledge on attitudes towards elderly care using unique two-generational data of younger and older adults.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This study was funded by the Kone Foundation and Academy of Finland (MD) (Grant No. 316229). The data collection was funded by the Academy of Finland (Grant No. 250620).

Citation

Tanskanen, A.O., Kallio, J. and Danielsbacka, M. (2019), "Should the family or the state provide support for the elderly people? Findings from a two-generational Finnish study", International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. 39 No. 1/2, pp. 138-155. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSSP-06-2018-0102

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited