Ethnic differences in parents' coresidence with adult children in Peninsular Malaysia

by Angelique Chan, Julie DaVanzo

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In this paper, the authors use data from the Second Malaysian Family Life Survey (MFLS-2) to examine the extent to which ethnic differences in the living arrangements of the older population in Peninsular Malaysia can be explained by ethnic differences in demographic and socioeconomic characteristics. The authors also investigate whether the three main ethnic groups of Malaysia differ in the extent to which their living arrangements are influenced by these factors. For the married, the higher incidence of remarriage and lower housing costs for Malays each contribute importantly to their lower coresidence rates. The relatively poorer health of Indians and better health of Malays also contribute to the ethnic differences in coresidence rates for the married, as does the higher incidence of daughter-only families among Malays. The explanatory variables considered here explain less of the ethnic differences in coresidence rates for the unmarried.

Originally published in: Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology, v. 11, March 1996, pp. 29-59.

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