How is help between family generations reasoned?

A1 Hämäläinen, H. (2016). How is help between family generations reasoned? Help provided by baby boomers to their elderly parents and adult children in the light of theme interviews. [Original title: Kuinka perhesukupolvien välistä apua perustellaan? Suurten ikäluokkien iäkkäille vanhemmilleen ja aikuisille lapsilleen antama apu teemahaastattelujen valossa.] Gerontologia 30 (2), 50–62.

This article explores the help given by Finnish baby boomers (born 1945–1950) to their elderly parents and adult children. The subjects of this study are those baby boomers who have at least one adult child and parent alive. Research questions are: What kind of help do the baby boomer interviewees give to their parents and children? How do the baby boomer interviewees reason the help they give to their parents and children? The data consist of 22 theme interviews which were collected as a part of General transmissions in Finland -project. Interviewees have helped their parents and children in various ways. The content of help also differs depending on whether it is given to the parents or children. Based on the interviews, the differences in the forms of provided support are related to the different life situations of the parents and children. A clear example of this linkage between life situation and certain type of support, is the childcare help given to children who have their own children. Interviewees reason the help they give to their parents with the parents’ needs for support. According to the interviews the needs of adult children are also an essential reason to support them but in addition interviewees emphasize their strong willingness to actively help their children, also regardless of children’s needs. This study offers new knowledge on the contents of intergenerational help and on how family members are reasoning the help they are giving.