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Effects of Life Course Transitions on the Quality of Relationships between Adult Children and Their Parents

Citation

Kaufman, Gayle & Uhlenberg, Peter (1998). Effects of Life Course Transitions on the Quality of Relationships between Adult Children and Their Parents. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 60(4), 924-38.

Abstract

Parents and children are connected throughout their lives. Each generation experiences life course transitions, and these, in turn, influence the lives of the other generation. Using data from the 1987-1988 and 1992-1994 waves of the National Survey of Families and Households, we examine how life course transitions experienced by each generation affect changes in the adult child-parent relationship. There is substantial variability in child-parent relationships. Approximately one fifth of relationships deteriorate, and one fifth improve over this time period. Results indicate that parental divorce and declines in parents' health lead to deteriorating child-parent relationships. Problems in a child's marriage also strain the adult child-parent relationship. Gender has an important mediating effect on intergenerational relations, as evidenced by the differential effects on son-mother and daughter-father relationships of having children, changing work hours, and increasing distance.

URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/353635

Reference Type

Journal Article

Journal Title

Journal of Marriage and the Family

Author(s)

Kaufman, Gayle
Uhlenberg, Peter

Year Published

1998

Volume Number

60

Issue Number

4

Pages

924-38

Reference ID

1019