Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Elder Care Puts Strain on Adult Parent-Child Relationship

Date:
July 27, 2010
Source:
Wiley - Blackwell
Summary:
Relationships between elder and younger members of a family can be strained and positive and negative in nature, even when affection is shared. A new study finds that long-term caretaking duties puts further strain on adult parent-child relationships.

Relationships between elder and younger members of a family can be strained and positive and negative in nature, even when affection is shared. A new study in the Journal of Marriage and Family finds that long-term caretaking duties puts further strain on adult parent-child relationships.

Authors of the first international comparative study of its kind, analyzed levels of affection and conflict among more than 2,600 parents and children in six developed nations: England, Germany, Israel, Norway, Spain and the U.S. They found that certain nations have developed prevalent, acceptable ways of behaving towards their elders, but that long-term interdependence and heavy care-taking responsibility introduces a major challenge to the relationship.

The authors identified key conditions that influence and inform levels of ambivalence, including affection, conflict, economic development, education, gender, number of siblings, residence situation, marital status, and cultural values. Lead author Dr. Merril Silverstein explains, "Caretaking situations due to a lack of welfare pose particular challenges to parent-child relationships. Citizens of nations with a more evolved welfare system tend to experience less conflict when faced with illness and long-term medical care situations. However, a healthy sense of interdependence can also encourage affection. We have found that apathy can be much more detrimental than conflict to close, personal, familial relationships. In general, older parents are more likely to report on the positive and affectionate qualities of the relationship than the child."

British participants displayed notable traits of amicability, and avoidance of conflict, with an emphasis on cordialness. Germany and Spain showed a sense of detachment towards their elders and highly valued honesty. The United States demonstrated disharmonious characteristics; children expressed more independent and individualistic thinking than their European counterparts. Israel revealed mixed emotions towards senior members of their community, which the authors hypothesize is caused by paradoxical familial, social, and political elements at work within their socio-political environment.

Dr. Silverstein concludes, "Our study provides support for arguing the universality of the dynamics in the intergenerational family relationship in developed Western nations, and the importance of considering the larger social, political, and cultural context in evaluating these relationships."

Data for this study came from two sources, both of which focused on participants based in urban communities: the five-nation, European Commission funded study known as Old Age and Autonomy: The Role of Service Systems and Intergenerational Family Solidarity (OASIS), and the Longitudinal Study of Generations (LSOG), concentrated in Southern California. Both data sets featured levels of closeness, amicability, communication styles, conflict, critical behavior, and frequency of arguments. The results were measured by degree of amicability, detachment, disharmony, and ambivalence.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley - Blackwell. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Merril Silverstein et al. Older Parent-Child Relationships in Six Developed Nations: Comparisons at the Intersection of Affection and Conflict. Journal of Marriage and Family, July 9, 2010 DOI: 10.1111/j.1741-3737.2010.00745.x

Cite This Page:

Wiley - Blackwell. "Elder Care Puts Strain on Adult Parent-Child Relationship." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 July 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100726144009.htm>.
Wiley - Blackwell. (2010, July 27). Elder Care Puts Strain on Adult Parent-Child Relationship. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100726144009.htm
Wiley - Blackwell. "Elder Care Puts Strain on Adult Parent-Child Relationship." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100726144009.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A study by German researchers claims watching TV while you're stressed out can make you feel guilty and like a failure. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

AFP (July 24, 2014) China's elderly population is expanding so quickly that children struggle to look after them, pushing them to do something unexpected in Chinese society- move their parents into a nursing home. Duration: 02:07 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins