Family relationship histories, intergenerational relationship quality, and depressive affect among rural elderly people

  • Whitbeck L
  • Hoyt D
  • Tyler K
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Abstract

Based on a sample of matched adult children and aging parents in the rural Midwest, this study examined the effects offamily relationship history on depressive symptoms among elderly parents. The study used reports from both adult children and aging parents regarding intergenerational affectional solidarity and relationship strain. Aging parents reported levels of depressed affect. Adult children's recalled early relationships with their parents were associated with elderly parents' reports of depressed affect through the effects of early family relationships on contemporary relationships. Reports of early relationships and contemporary relationships were separated by 5 years. It is suggested that family relationship characteristics persist across time and thatfamily relationship patterns affect the abilities of family members to negotiate support for elderly parents.

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Authors

  • Les B. Whitbeck

  • Dan R. Hoyt

  • Kimberly A. Tyler

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