Within-Family Differences in Mothers' Support to Adult Children

J. J. Suitor, K. Pillemer, J. Sechrist
2006 The journals of gerontology. Series B, Psychological sciences and social sciences  
Objectives. In this article we explore the ways in which mothers provide support differentially to their adult children and the factors that explain such differentiation. Methods. We collected data for the present analysis during face-to-face interviews with a representative sample of 556 mothers ranging in age from 65 to 78 residing in the greater Boston area. Results. We found substantial within-family variation in mother-to-child support. Multivariate analyses revealed a set of factors that
more » ... et of factors that explained within-family differences: Mothers were more likely to provide support to children who were daughters, unmarried, lived nearby, had health problems, and had provided the mothers with support. Discussion. These findings indicate that within-family differences in support to children continue across the life course. Such variations within the family underscore the importance of using designs that provide information on relationships between parents and each of their children, rather than focusing on single parent-child dyads.
doi:10.1093/geronb/61.1.s10 pmid:16399944 fatcat:akff5wwed5dova7l23mxrprfsq