Factors Associated With Support Provided by Middle-Aged Children to Their Parents

Amber J. Seidel, Karl Majeske, Mary Marshall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective: Building on symbolic interaction, this study was designed to examine perceptions of support provided by adult children to their parents (upstream support) as they relate to the parents' health, parent–child relationship quality, and support provided by parents to their children (downstream support). Background: Adult children are increasingly participating in providing care for parents. Examining perceptions of this flow of support may increase family members' understanding of each other's perspectives regarding support, health, and relationship quality. Method: A modified actor–partner interdependence model (APIM) was used to examine parent–child dyadic perceptions of these three factors on upstream support using the Family Exchanges Study (N = 273 dyads). Results: Parents reporting lower health, higher relationship quality, and more downstream support were associated with parents' perception of more upstream support. Parents reporting higher relationship quality and less downstream support were associated with adult children's perception of less upstream support. Moreover, adult children reporting higher relationship quality was associated with parents' perception of more upstream support, and adult children reporting more downstream support was associated with adult children's perception of more upstream support. Conclusion: Findings that parents' and children's perceptions differ, sometimes in different directions, indicates the importance of considering multiple perspectives in family-based research. Implications: Clinicians and educators should find ways to help parents and their adult children understand each other's perspectives to increase shared meanings associated with health and support in these relationships.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)262-275
Number of pages14
JournalFamily Relations
Volume69
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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