Adult Children's Education and Parents' Functional Limitations in Mexico

Res Aging. 2016 Apr;38(3):322-45. doi: 10.1177/0164027515620240.


This article asks how adult children's education influences older parents' physical health in Mexico, a context where older adults often lack access to institutional resources and rely on kin, primarily children, as a main source of support. Using logistic and negative binomial regression models and data from the first wave of the Mexican Health and Aging Study (N = 9,661), we find that parents whose children all completed high school are less likely to report any functional limitations as well as fewer limitations compared to parents with no children who completed high school. This association remains significant even after accounting for parent and offspring-level characteristics, including parents' income that accounts for children's financial transfers to parents. Future research should aim to understand the mechanisms that explain the association between adult children's education and changes to parents' health over time.

Keywords: Mexico; functional status; parent–child relationships; socioeconomic status.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult Children / ethnology*
  • Aged
  • Aging / ethnology*
  • Educational Status*
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Intergenerational Relations
  • Male
  • Mexico / ethnology
  • Middle Aged
  • Parent-Child Relations / ethnology*
  • Socioeconomic Factors