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Research Urban and Regional Studies Institute PRC

Intergenerational proximity and residential relocations of older persons in the Netherlands

Principal researcher

Marieke van der Pers

Type of research



Prof. Dr C.H. Mulder (promotor)

Dr. E.U.B. Kibele (co-promotor)


Geographic proximity between parents and their children has shown to be an important determinant for the quality and intensity of intergenerational relationships. It is not only one of the most important predictors of the provision and of care and support (Greenwell and Bengtson 1997; Knijn and Liefbroer 2006; Hank 2007; Bordone 2009; Mulder and Van der Meer 2009), but it also enhances feelings of togetherness (Kohli, Künemund et al. 2005) and reciprocation (Künemund and Rein 1999; Breheny and Stephens 2009) .

The main objective of the PhD research is to get insight into the extent proximity of adult children is a predictor of residential relocations of older persons, but also a resource for well being at older ages, in particular in the situation of poor health and the absence of a partner in the household.  

With a combination of register and survey data the project aims to get insight into 1) the regional dimension of intergenerational proximity in the Netherlands, 2) the extent to which children living close by reduce the propensity to change residence and institutionalisation, 2) the effect of parental health and widowhood on the propensity to live at close intergenerational proximity, and 3) how proximity of adult children affects older parents’ life satisfaction.

Last modified:07 August 2020 3.01 p.m.