Educational Attainment Differences in Attitudes toward Provisions of IADL Care for Older Adults in the U.S.

Publication Abstract

Patterson, Sarah. Forthcoming. "Educational Attainment Differences in Attitudes toward Provisions of IADL Care for Older Adults in the U.S." Journal of Aging and Social Policy.

Educational attainment is increasingly associated with family inequality in the U.S., but there is little understanding about whether and how education stratifies attitudes toward eldercare. Using the General Social Survey 2012 Eldercare Module, I test the association between educational attainment and attitudes toward eldercare provisions of Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL) including different combinations of help and payment for help. IADLs are the most common care received by older adults and needs are projected to grow, so understanding attitudes toward this type of care is timely and relevant. Results show that adults with a bachelor's degree or graduate/professional degree, compared to adults with less than a high school degree, are more likely to support complete family IADL eldercare, where families provide the care and any payment necessary for care, compared to complete outside IADL eldercare, where outside institutions provide both care and payment. Educational attainment is an important axis of stratification in the U.S. and may explain potentially bifurcated policy solutions desired among different groups.


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