Abstract: Paper No. 19

Stability and Change in the Living Arrangements of Older Italian Women, 1990-1995

Cecilia Tomassini and Douglas Wolf

April 1999

Abstract:  In this work we analyze the living arrangements of elderly unmarried women in Italy. We use data from three surveys, collected in 1990, 1994 and 1995 by the Italian statistical agency ISTAT. We consider unmarried women 65 and older, and three household types (living alone, with children, or with others), taking into account the availability of children with whom they might share a household. During this period the percentage of elderly living alone fell slightly. We investigate these patterns with a structural analysis based on multinomial models. Results indicate that some individual variables (living in southern Italy, health status) have lost their significance in explaining the probability of living with children or with other persons. We conclude that, in contrast to the past, when there was an emphasis on the mother's dependency in coresidence, choices in living arrangements in Italy seem to reflect the needs of both generations.

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