Calling on Kin: The Place of Parents and Adult Children in Egocentric Networks

Shira Offer, Claude S. Fischer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Empirical data are necessary to evaluate the importance of understanding the connection between social networks and the life course. This chapter presents important new data from the first wave of the UCNets project (a longitudinal study of personal networks, life events, and health in the greater San Francisco Bay Area) to examine the role that close kin play in people's personal networks. The chapter asks: (1) Who has parents or adult children available and accessible to help them? (2) Given that such immediate family are available, who reports an active connection to parents or adult children? (3) For people who have an active connection to parents or adult children, what role do these kin play in their network? And (4) to what extent is their connection related to other characteristics of their relationships? The authors use an egocentric network methodology to provide an unusually rich exploration of the role played by close kin, not presuming their importance, but instead locating them within people's larger spheres of activity and personal networks.
Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publication Social Networks and Life Course
Subtitle of host publicationIntegrating The Development Of Human Lives And Social Relational Networks
EditorsDuane F. Alwin, Diane H. Felmlee, Derek A. Kreager
Number of pages22
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-71543-8
StatePublished - 2018

Publication series

NameFrontiers in Sociology and Social Research


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