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Who's Helping Out? Support Networks Among American Families

Report Number P70-13


American families are generally nuclear and economically self-sufficient. Not all households, however, are able to maintain financial independence. Divorce produces individuals and family units needing financial assistance; parents sometimes need support from their children for medical or housing expenses; and young adults sometimes need financial help from their parents to establish independent households and begin their own families. Information on the sources and amounts of this support is important in order to estimate the degree of financial dependency American families share with each other.

This report focuses on the individual financial support networks which supplement the incomes of persons living in different households. Information in this report was collected in a supplement to the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) conducted between January 1985 and April 1985, in approximately 17,000 interviewed households in the Nation. Statistics are presented for persons 18 years and over. in 1985 who were regularly making cash payments for the support of persons not living with them in their households. Responses to the questions in this SIPP supplement refer to the 12-month period prior to the interview date. Even though most of the payments for support arrangements occurred in 1984, the SIPP reference date of 1985 is used to indicate the year in which the survey was conducted.


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