August 5, 2009

Three-generation homes reduce poverty risk

The presence of a grandparent living in the home of a single parent reduces the likelihood of a child living in poverty by 80 percent, a U.S. researcher says.

Researchers at the University of Southern California and the University of Massachusetts say living in a three-generation household can significantly enhance the economic well-being of children.

The implications of this research are particularly salient as we are facing an unprecedented economic crisis in the United States, study co-author Lindsey A. Baker of the University of Southern California says in a statement.

Multigenerational co-residence will likely be a strategy used by many to deal with financial hardship caused by the loss of a job, house or retirement savings.

The study, published online ahead of print of the November issue of the Journal of Family Issues, finds the average income of a family with two grandparents -- $63,635 -- is more than double the income of a single-mother household -- $27,619.

The study says the largest single source of income in single-mother, three-generation homes is the contributions of grandparents.