Cross-Age friendships in 25 European countries [Vriendschappen tussen jong en oud in 25 Europese Landen]

Pearl Dykstra, Maria Fleischmann

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Abstract

Cross-age friendships in 25 European countries This paper focuses on individual and country-level circumstances shaping friendships between young and old to gain insight into conditions for intergenerational solidarity. Using European Social Survey data, findings show that relatively few people have cross-age friendships (18% of the young and 31% of the old). As predicted by the ‘meeting principle’, individuals who operate in settings where there are opportunities for meaningful interactions with people belonging to a different age group are more likely to have cross-age friendships. As predicted by the ‘disposition principle’, individuals with more favourable feelings about other age groups are more likely to have cross-age friendships. Neither the Active Ageing Index nor macro-level trust and individualism show significant associations with the likelihood of having cross-age friendships. Apparently, conditions that bring generations together are meeting opportunities at the local level, underscoring the importance of decentralized initiatives aimed at increased contact and co-operation across age groups.
Original languageDutch
Pages (from-to)107-131
Number of pages25
JournalMens en Maatschappij
Volume91
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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