Summary for Karl Pillemer Article

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William Magee

SOC246 10. Karl Pillemer (2007) 10. Karl Pillemer (2007) ^Capturing the Complexity of Intergenerational Relations: Exploring Ambivalence within Later-Life Families_ Outline Key Words: intergenerational relations, ambivalence, adult child- parent relationships - This article reports on a study that incorporates two dimensions of complexity in intergenerational relations - Focuses on ambivalence: the simultaneous existence of positive and negative sentiments in the older parent-adult child relationship 1. Parental ambivalence that emphasizes conflict between norms regarding solidarity with children and expectations that adult children should become independent 2. Lower ambivalence was related to an adult child being married 3. Children[s problems were positively associated with ambivalence, as was the mother[s perception that exchange in the relationship was inequitable in the child[s favor 4. Mother[s health status and her perception that she and the child share the same values were negatively associated with ambivalence 5. Black mothers reported higher levels of ambivalence than did white mothers 6. However, multivariate models explaining ambivalence did not vary by race Introduction - Focus on relations between the generations after offspring reach adulthood - Most relationships are meaningful and supportive; but troubled relationships are common and are a significant source of psychological distress - This article focuses on two dimensions of complexity in intergenerational relations: Focus on ambivalence- the simultaneous existence of both positive and negative sentiments Focus on whether parent[s relationships with individual children within the same family (instead of between-family designs) As well, we explore if it varies by race Ambivalence as an Approach to Understanding Intergenerational Complexity - Proposed that the experience of intergenerational relations in adulthood is characteristically ambivalent- that is, it revolves around sociological and psychological contradictions or dilemmas - Incorporates both positive and negative elements in a single study - Approximately 50% of the older parents in their samples reported some degree of ambivalence toward their adult children - 28% of adult children experienced ambivalence toward elderly parents - 29% of families were categorized as ambivalent (using a large panel study) Further Complexity: Accounting for Multiple Relationships within the Family 16
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