Solidarity-Conflict and Ambivalence: Testing Two Conceptual Frameworks and Their Impact on Quality of Life for Older Family Members

A. Lowenstein
2007 The journals of gerontology. Series B, Psychological sciences and social sciences  
Objectives. To test empirically two major conceptualizations of parent -child relations in later adulthood, the intergenerational solidarity-conflict and the ambivalence paradigms , and to test their predictive validity on elders' quality of life (QOL) using comparative crossnational data. Methods. Data are from a sample of 2,064 elders (75+) from the OASIS five-country study (Norway, England, Germany, Spain and Israel). Multivariate and block-recursive regression models estimated the
more » ... mated the predictivity of the two conceptualizations of family dynamics on overall QOL controlling for country, personal characteristics and health. Results. Descriptive analyses indicated that family solidarity, especially the affective/cognitive component (called Solidarity A), was high in all five countries, whereas conflict and ambivalence were low. When all three constructs were entered into the regression, only Solidarity A and reciprocal intergenerational support predicted QOL. Controlling for health, SES and country, intergenerational relations had only a weak explanatory power, while personal resources explained most of the variance. Discussion. The data suggest that the three constructs exist simultaneously but in varying combinations, confirming that in cross-cultural contexts family cohesion predominated, albeit with low degrees of conflict and ambivalence. The solidarity construct evidenced relatively robust measurement. For ambivalence it is suggested that more work is required to enhance measurement of this construct.
doi:10.1093/geronb/62.2.s100 pmid:17379679 fatcat:3rezx5svubec3aelfr5jideaea