Parental Support During Young Adulthood: Why Does Assistance Decline With Age?

Previous research has found that financial transfers from parents to young adult children decline as children age and that age is one of the strongest predictors of support. Using data collected from young adults (age 18-34 years) and their parents (age 40-60 years; N = 536 parent–child dyads), the authors explore the possibility that the relationship between age and financial support is mediated by offspring needs, acquisition of adult roles, or geographical and emotional closeness. The authors find that age-related declines in offspring’s needs help explain why financial support falls with age. However, offspring age remains a robust predictor of financial support after controlling for a wide range of factors, suggesting that age norms condition support from parents to offspring.