Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Karl Kosloski


Using data from the Survey of Asset and Health Dynamics Among the Oldest-Old, Wave 1, 1993, the differences between elderly parents and childless elderly in the sources of assistance that are available to them and utilized by them are examined. Parental status is examined for its effect on sources of assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs), instrumental activities of daily living (LADLs), expected sources of future support with ADLs/LADLs, residence in a building or community which provides personal care services and with financial management. The effect is controlled for covariates of marital status, age, sex, and household income using regression models. The examination found that the lack of or presence of children does affect who assists an elderly person. Overall, the childless respondents used more non-family sources of assistance with a broad spectrum of care needs. Implications of the findings are discussed and recommendations for future research are detailed.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Gerontology and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts in Social Gerontology University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright Melanie Hayes July, 1998.