Jeremy Lim is a quantitative social gerontologist who studies intergenerational relationships and the social lives of older adults. He joined CARE in June 2022 and is involved in several projects including a longitudinal study of older Singaporeans and their family members (TRaCE) that aims to understand caregiving from the perspective of both caregivers and care recipients, and to track changes in caregiving-related outcomes over time. Jeremy holds a PhD in Public Policy from the National University of Singapore and a Master of International Studies from Seoul National University. He is a founding member of the Population Association of Singapore and an active participant in the Population Association of America and Gerontological Society of America.
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Jeremy Lim's research interests span several interrelated topics. First, I am studying intergenerational family relationships of older adults with special attention toward within-family differences, or differences in how family members relate to one another. While most research taking a within-family differences approach has been conducted in the United States, I have undertaken one of the first few applications of this approach to Asian data. Specifically, with my co-author Dahye Kim, I studied the gendered distribution of inheritances of Korean older adults and found that firstborn male children were much more likely to receive larger inheritances than their siblings, regardless of whether they performed caregiving for the deceased; on the other hand, female children were only likely to receive larger inheritances if they performed caregiving duties.
In another study, I applied Latent Class Analysis and Latent Transition Analysis to identify patterns of Korean older adults’ intergenerational contact with their adult children, finding that more frequent contact with male children was twice as prevalent as more frequent contact with female children, but this gender gap diminished as older adults transitioned from young-old (65-74) to middle-old (75-84). To address the lack of publicly available data that can address similar research questions in Singapore, I have recently submitted a grant application to interview Singaporean older adults on their intergenerational exchanges with their adult children’s families, with a focus on grandparenting and caregiving.
Second, I recently wrote my PhD thesis on how the social participation of older adults changes through late-life transitions such as widowhood and retirement. In my literature review on the topic, I found that there was little consensus on whether social participation would increase, decrease, or remain stable through these transitions. I attributed this lack of consensus to methodological limitations, such as the lack of longitudinal data of sufficient duration that would account for both pre- and post-transition changes in social participation, as well as the lack of appropriate causal identification strategies that would address selection into conditions such as widowhood and retirement. Using an unprecedented seven waves of data spanning twelve years from the Korean Longitudinal Study of Ageing, I demonstrated that social participation could change before and after a transition, highlighting the danger of drawing conclusions based on only “before and after” comparisons. In addition, I applied coarsened exact matching with mixed effect models to reduce the selection bias inherent in the literature on widowhood and retirement. Lastly, I utilized Group-Based Trajectory Modeling to identify within-population heterogeneity in individual experiences of social participation. I found diverse increasing, decreasing and stable trajectories, which were not identified in prior studies that utilized methodology reflecting population averages.
Third, in response to the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on family life in Singapore, I worked on a series of papers that addressed how family relationships had changed during and after the lockdown, how essential and non-essential workers’ families had been affected by differential movement restrictions, how Singaporeans’ fertility intentions had been delayed or reduced, and how housing conditions and access to private green spaces played a part in stress alleviation during the crisis.
Fourth, I am currently conducting a study on the health and social aspects of family caregiving in Singapore. This study will complement my past and existing projects that have investigated intergenerational family relationships, which are closely related to family caregiving, as well as the social participation of older adults.