Family Solidarity and Transfers between Elderly Parents and Adult Children in Thailand

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Dararatt Anantanasuwong
Duanpen Theerawanviwat


The main purpose of the paper was to investigate the manifest family solidarity of older persons in Thailand related to structural solidarity, associational solidarity, and functional solidarity and to analyze the typology of support between elderly parents and their adult children using the Latent Class Analysis (LCA). The investigation and analyses of family solidarity and types of support were disaggregated by age groups comparing the young-old (aged between 60-69), the mid-old (aged between 70-79), and the oldest-old (aged 80 or over) The data from Wave 2 (2017) of the longitudinal panel household survey on Health, Aging, and Retirement in Thailand (HART) were employed for the cross-section analysis.

Results: The study findings of the three aspects of solidarity revealed that when parents were advanced in age, the solidarity in each aspect or the interrelationship with adult children would tend to increase, in terms of co-residence with children, frequency in contact with children, or the role of sole “recipients” of resource assistance from children. The solidarity indicators had higher share with the oldest-old parents compared with the young-old and the mid-old parents. It could be interpreted that with parents’ more advanced age, the status of self-reliance would change to reliance on others especially on children in terms of economic, social, and health aspects. With the physical and mental degradation, needs of assistance and care would increase.

The analysis of LCA revealed the four types of support between elderly parents and adult children in Thailand were “Detached” “Sociable” “Tight knit” and “Normative.”  Each type had the shares of the elderly parents as follows: 41%, 6%, 29%, and 24%. In addition, the types of family relationship of elderly parents in each age group were different and could be evidence of a dynamic process of intergenerational interaction in the course of life. Overall, the study results pointed to the social norm that filial gratitude towards parents still existed in the Thai society. But behavior might change from the old pattern of children’s assistance and support both in cash and in kind to parents to at least in regular contact with parents or to parents exchanged assistance in kind. This changing behavior reflected the adaptation to the changing society, while familial support to older persons tended to become long-term care. As the older persons might relate to many generations of family members, to close the gap between generations should be a policy suggestion.


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ปราโมทย์ ประสาทกุล และ ปัทมา ว่าพัฒนวงศ์ (2548) สถานการณ์ประชากรของประเทศไทย พ.ศ. 2548. ใน กฤตยา อาชวนิจกุล และ ปราโมทย์ ประสาทกุล (บรรณาธิการ), ประชากรและสังคม 2548 : ประชากรของประเทศไทย ณ พ.ศ. 2548. นครปฐม: สำนักพิมพ์ประชากรและสังคม.

สำนักงานคณะกรรมการพัฒนาเศรษฐกิจและสังคมแห่งชาติ (2558) ข้อมูลเศรษฐกิจและสังคม สถิติด้านประชากร จาก

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