Knodel, John E. 2014. "Is Intergenerational Solidarity Really on the Decline? Cautionary Evidence from Thailand." Asian Population Studies, 10(2): 2014.
Development is commonly assumed to undermine intergenerational solidarity in developing countries. Evidence from a series of surveys in Thailand calls this assumption into question. Intergenerational support networks have remained intact despite extensive social and economic development. Despite the recent universalisation of the Old Age Allowance Programme (OAA), filial monetary support remains relatively unchanged. Although children are less frequently cited as their main source of income, this likely arises because increased income from other sources, especially OAA payments, has simply displaced children with regards to the largest source. Non-monetary material support and visits and phone calls remain common. In numerous respects parents and adult children adapted to social and economic changes in ways that maintain family relationships and support exchanges. Nevertheless, in the future, older Thais will have fewer and increasingly geographically dispersed children raising important challenges, especially regarding how long-term personal care needs will be met.
Country of focus: Thailand.