Availability of Adult Children with Elderly Parents and Their Spatial Patterns: Evidence from a Rural District, Northeastern Thailand

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Jongjit Rittirong
Pramote Prasartkul
Ronald R. Rindfuss


In many parts of the developing world, massive movement of young adults from rural to urban areas has been occurring, raising the question of family support for rural elderly. This study investigates whether rural elderly in Northeast Thailand have children living in their village, if yes, how close to the elderly’s dwelling unit, and what determines the availability of children. Traditionally, Thai elderly in rural areas rely on their kin as care givers, especially their children. This study employs a rich longitudinal data set containing individual -, household -, and village-level characteristics. Social network data are used to measure child-parent ties within the village. Geographic information system (GIS) techniques are used to measure the distance between the elderly to their nearest son and/or daughter. Logistic regression models are estimated to understand demographic and economic factors related to the availability of children. Despite high rural- urban migration, most elderly have children living in the village. The preference for matrilocal residence is evidenced by patterns of co -residence and distances between non - co -residing children and their parents. These patterns are consistent with evidence from the qualitative part of the study. In the logistic regression analyses, demographic factors are found to be consistently more important than socio -economic factors.


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Rittirong, J., Prasartkul, P., & Rindfuss, R. R. (1). Availability of Adult Children with Elderly Parents and Their Spatial Patterns: Evidence from a Rural District, Northeastern Thailand. Journal of Population and Social Studies [JPSS], 21(2), 133-153. Retrieved from https://so03.tci-thaijo.org/index.php/jpss/article/view/71988
Author Biography

Jongjit Rittirong, Institute for Population and Social Research, Mahidol University, Thailand

Corresponding author


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