Intergenerational solidarity and the family-welfare state balance

Svein Olav Daatland, Ariela Lowenstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The article addresses the strength and character of intergenerational family solidarity under different family cultures and welfare state regimes in order to answer the following two questions: (1) Is intergenerational solidarity stronger under the more collectivist southern family tradition than under the more individualist northern tradition? (2) Is more generous access to social care services a risk or a resource for family care? These questions are explored with data from the OASIS project, a comparative study among the urban populations aged 25 + (n=6,106) in Norway, England, Germany, Spain, and Israel. The findings indicate that the welfare state has not crowded out the family in elder care, but has rather helped the generations establish more independent relationships. Intergenerational solidarity is substantial in both the northern and southern welfare state regimes, and seems to vary in character more than in strength.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)174-182
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Ageing
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 2005

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The OASIS project was funded under the Fifth Framework Programme of the European Union, Contract no. QLK6-TC-1999– 02182, project coordinator Ariela Lowenstein, University of Haifa. For more details see Daatland and Herlofson (2001) and Lowen-stein and Ogg (2003).


  • Cross-national comparisons
  • Elder care
  • Family-welfare state balance
  • Intergenerational solidarity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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