Although it is well established that adult daughters spend more time giving assistance to their parents than do sons, the sources of this gender gap are not well understood. This paper asks: To what extent can this gap be explained by structural variation, especially the different rates of employment and kinds of jobs that women and men tend to hold? Using data from the National Survey of Families and Households (N= 7,350), the paper shows that both employment status and job characteristics, especially wages and self-employment, are important factors in explaining the gender gap in the help given to parents and that these operate similarly for women and men.


caregiving, employment, gender, intergenerational, social support, work

Date of this Version

May 2004



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