ERIC Number: ED201903
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Older Adults' Perceptions of Closeness in Sibling Relationships.
Ross, Helgola G.; And Others
Decreasing numbers of peers in the lives of older adults give a special meaning to closeness in their sibling relationships. Interviews elicited perceptions of closeness from 30 adults. Content analyses revealed several patterns, i.e., participants perceived themselves as always having been close, as having grown more or less close over time, or as never having been close. Parental expectations for unity, absence of favoritism, and democratic child-rearing practices originated close sibling relationships. Family norms and interaction rituals, personal liking and respect, and positive consequences of critical incidents maintained closeness; negative effects of critical incidents and lack of contact reduced closeness. In old age, closeness was highly valued as a source of comfort and pride, while a lack of closeness was a source of pain and guilt. For a few subjects, closeness meant little; however, most subjects believed that closeness gained in meaning as siblings became uniquely able to support each other and to validate each others' memories and existence. (Author/NRB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society (33rd, San Diego, CA, November 21-25, 1980).