Parental Survival and Residential Patterns in South Africa

Amadou Noumbissi, University of Pennsylvania
Tukufu Zuberi, University of Pennsylvania
Ayaga A. Bawah, University of Pennsylvania

The increasing incidence of HIV/AIDS is having profound consequences on household and family structure because most of the deaths are concentrated among the most productive segments of the population. When young adults die their parents and other relatives often care for their surviving children. Thus, the parents of adults and children are playing a critical role in the social adjustment to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The proportion of children without a surviving parent in South Africa is becoming an important social problem. This paper examines differences in parental survival and the residential patterns of children by selected variables. Results show a higher proportion of children without fathers compared to mothers. These children are more likely to live with their grandparents when the mother dies than when the father dies. This result seems to speak more to the role of the mother as a main caregiver than the father.

Presented in Session 138: Family Change in Africa and Latin America