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.

Additional Metadata
Keywords friendship, ageism, age segregation, active ageing, intergenerational solidarity
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.5117/MEM2016.2.DYKS, hdl.handle.net/1765/93005
Journal Mens en Maatschappij: tijdschrift voor sociale wetenschappen
Citation
Dykstra, P.A, & Fleischmann, M. (2016). Vriendschappen tussen jong en oud in 25 Europese landen. Mens en Maatschappij: tijdschrift voor sociale wetenschappen, 91(2), 107–131. doi:10.5117/MEM2016.2.DYKS