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Family matters: The impact of kin on the mortality of the elderly in rural Bangladesh

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This study uses high quality longitudinal data on kin availability, proximity, and marital status from the Matlab surveillance area in rural Bangladesh to explore the impact of kin members on the survival of the elderly over a six year period. The results - from discrete time hazard models- suggest that the presence of a spouse, sons, and brothers substantially improves survivorship, but with differing effects by the sex of the elderly and the number of sons and brothers. This study offers little support of any of the following as mechanisms by which kin affect the survival of the elderly: changes in the economic status of the elderly as proxied by land holdings; improved access to instrumental support as proxied by the marital status of sons; decreases in social isolation as proxied by proximity of kin.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 1999

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