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INTERGENERATIONAL LIVING ARRANGEMENTS OF OLDER THAI ADULTS AND THEIR PSYCHOLOGICAL WELL-BEING

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Abstract

Recent social and economic developments in Thailand have resulted in increasing migration from rural villages to urban centers. This trend has led to varying living arrangements for older people: skipped generation households, three generation households, older couple households, and older individuals living alone. The objective of this paper is to identify associations between the living arrangements of older adults and their psychological well-being. Data are based on a household study of 1,140 persons age 60 and over living in Kanchanaburi province, Thailand. Multiple regression analyses are employed. Results indicate that older couple households experience higher psychological well-being than those in three generation households. The effects of living arrangements disappear when controlling for demographics variables (e.g., age, gender, health, working status). Other significant predictors of well-being emerge: the amount of remittances from children, satisfaction with support from children and grandchildren, and satisfaction with support to children and grandchildren. Discussion of these findings will highlight some of the reasons for difficulties within intergenerational living arrangements. Also discussed will be the importance of social and cultural factors related to older people’s psychological well-being. Implications for practice and policy to improve quality of life for aging individuals in Thailand will be provided.
IAGG 2017 World Congress
(Boomers) aged 25–40 in 1990 (using 1990 and 2000 decen-
nial census data) and Generation X (GenXers) aged 25–40 in
2005 (using 2005 and 2015 American Community Survey/
ACS data). Brown-collar occupations were dened based on
occupations in which Latinos were over-represented in the
1980 decennial census (e.g., machine operators, farm work-
ers). Latino Boomers decreased their brown-collar employ-
ment, from 18.8% in 1990 to 17.8% in 2000; by contrast,
Latino GenXers only decreased from 19.6% in 2005 to
19.0% in 2015. Brown-collar incomes failed to keep up with
non-Latino white workers, especially for Latino GenXers.
Differences exist, however, by immigrant status. Based on
the income stagnation of brown-collar employment, occu-
pational mobility must be encouraged and supported among
younger Boomers and GenXers in the U.S. Failure to do so
will make worklife economic security more elusive and pros-
pects for long-term retirement security grim. This economic
insufciency will have implications not only at the micro
level, but also for social programs and federal, state, and
local governmental budgets.
INTERGENERATIONAL LIVING ARRANGEMENTS OF
OLDER THAI ADULTS AND THEIR PSYCHOLOGICAL
WELL-BEING
S.Punpuing1, B.Ingersoll-Dayton2, K.Tangchonlatip1,
W.  Huttaphet1, 1. Institute for Population and Social
Research, Mahidol University, Salaya, Nakhonpathom,
Thailand, 2. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Recent social and economic developments in Thailand
have resulted in increasing migration from rural villages to
urban centers. This trend has led to varying living arrange-
ments for older people: skipped generation households, three
generation households, older couple households, and older
individuals living alone. The objective of this paper is to iden-
tify associations between the living arrangements of older
adults and their psychological well-being. Data are based
on a household study of 1,140 persons age 60 and over liv-
ing in Kanchanaburi province, Thailand. Multiple regression
analyses are employed. Results indicate that older couple
households experience higher psychological well-being than
those in three generation households. The effects of living
arrangements disappear when controlling for demographics
variables (e.g., age, gender, health, working status). Other
signicant predictors of well-being emerge: the amount of
remittances from children, satisfaction with support from
children and grandchildren, and satisfaction with support
to children and grandchildren. Discussion of these ndings
will highlight some of the reasons for difculties within inter-
generational living arrangements. Also discussed will be the
importance of social and cultural factors related to older
people’s psychological well-being. Implications for practice
and policy to improve quality of life for aging individuals in
Thailand will be provided.
MANAGEMENT OF CONFLICT BETWEEN
GRANDPARENTS AND THEIR ADULT CHILDREN IN
THAILAND
K.Tangchonlatip1, B.Ingersoll-Dayton2, S.Punpuing1, 1.
Mahidol University, Salaya, Nakhon Pathom, Thailand, 2.
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
A common phenomena in rural Thailand is that adult
children migrate to nd work and leave their children
behind in the care of their grandparents. The resulting living
arrangement is referred to as a skipped generation house-
hold. This arrangement can benet the intergenerational
family but can also be associated with conict. The present
study explores how the members of skipped generation
households manage the conicts that occur. In-depth inter-
views were conducted with 48 grandparents in rural Thai
skipped generation households. Using qualitative analysis, a
variety of conictual areas between grandparents and their
adult children were identied. Conictual areas included: the
decisions made by migrant adult children; how to raise and
discipline the grandchildren; and inconsistent remittances
from the migrant children to the grandparents. Discussion
will focus on the context of Thailand and the relationship
between migration and conict. Buddhist teachings play an
important role in the way families react to conict because
children are taught to be accepting and to avoid arguments
with their parents. Therefore, non-interference is a com-
mon strategy to avoid the escalation of conict. Migration
can result in family conict but it can also be a strategy to
avoid family conict. That is, when conict becomes intense,
grandparents may encourage their adult children to migrate
and offer to care for the grandchildren. Interventions that
help families deal with stress and conict will be discussed
and adaptations to the cultural context of Thailand will be
highlighted.
WORRIES OF THAI GRANDPARENTS IN SKIPPED
GENERATION HOUSEHOLDS
B.Ingersoll-Dayton1, S.Punpuing2, K.Tangchonlatip2,
1. University of Michigan, ANN ARBOR, Michigan, 2.
Mahidol University, Salaya, Nakhon Pathom, Thailand
While skipped generation households occur throughout
the world, the proportion of older people in Thailand who
live in these families has been rapidly growing and is now
as high as 15% in rural areas. In Thailand, most of these
skipped generation households are the result of adult chil-
dren who have migrated to nd work and left their own chil-
dren in the care of their grandparents. Previous research has
focused on the migrants; however, much less is known about
the grandparents who are left behind to provide childcare.
This presentation focuses on in-depth interviews with 48
Thai grandparents living in skipped generation households.
While many of the grandparents discuss the joys of providing
care, they also acknowledge the worries associated with such
care. Using interpretative phenomenological analysis, we
examine these worries and develop a typology of concerns
experienced by caregiving grandparents: worries about their
grandchildren (i.e., their education and family relationships),
worries about their adult migrant children (i.e., their work-
related stress and marital relationships) and worries about
themselves (i.e., their health and income). Perhaps overriding
all these worries are the grandparents’ concerns about the
future. That is, what will happen to the grandchildren if their
own health makes it impossible to provide care? Discussion
of these ndings focuses on programs and policies that could
address the concerns expressed by grandparents and provide
support to skipped generation households in Thailand.
Innovation in Aging, 2 0 1 7, Vol. 1, No. S1
1372
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... In addition, recent social and economic developments in Thailand have resulted in increasing migration from rural villages to urban centers. This has led to varying living arrangements for older people such as skipped generation household, three generation household and older people living alone This instigated [27] to conduct a study in Kanchanaburi Province, Thailand with aims to identify the associations between the living arrangements of elderlies and their psychological well-being and indicated that older couple households experience higher psychological well-being in skipped generation households where grandparents raise children and parents are absent from the household, than those in three generation households. The study also brings the importance of social and cultural factors related to elderlies' psychological well-being. ...
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... In addition, recent social and economic developments in Thailand have resulted in increasing migration from rural villages to urban centers. This has led to varying living arrangements for older people such as skipped generation household, three generation household and older people living alone This led Punpuing (2017) to conduct a study in Kanchanaburi Province, Thailand with aims to identify the associations between the living arrangements of older adults and their psychological wellbeing and indicated that older couple households experience higher psychological wellbeing in skipped generation households where grandparents raise children and parents are absent from the household, than those in three generation households. The study also brings the importance of social and cultural factors related to older people's psychological well-being. ...
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