This study examines (a) whether widowhood affects the performance of daily household activities, (b) the extent to which dependence on children mediates the effect of widowhood on subsequent housework performance, and (c) the extent to which these patterns vary by gender. Using the Changing Lives of Older Couples study, a prospective survey of married persons age 65 and older, we find that late-life widowhood is associated with an increase in men's housework, yet does not produce a change in women's subsequent housework performance. Dependency on children mediates the effect of widowhood on housework, suggesting that adult children assist their grieving parents with errands and other household chores. Findings imply that the daily consequences of late-life widowhood are dependent on the individual, dyadic, and intergenerational characteristics of the older adult.
- Gender roles
- Instrumental activities of daily living
- Intergenerational transfers
- Parent-child relations
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)