ERIC Number: ED229715
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Oct-15
Reference Count: 0
Filial Crisis among the Adult Children of the Elderly.
Berkman, Sherry L.; Houser, Betsy Bosak
The likelihood of caring for an aging parent has become a reality for many middle-aged Americans. To test the hypothesis that characteristics of both parent and child may result in a strained relationship, male and female children (N=540) of elderly Anglo widows (at least 70 years of age) participated in interviews and completed questionnaires which focused on four areas: (1) filal crisis (defined as increased guilt and intergenerational tension along with decreased intrafamilial affection and intimacy); (2) mother's background; (3) child's background; and (4) filial behaviors. Data analyses indicated that filial crisis was primarily a function of the quality of parent-child contact. Deficiencies in a parent's emotional and physical health as well as the impact of caretaking upon the child's life were also found to have a significant influence. In addition, filial crisis was unrelated to characteristics of the child (i.e., sex, birth order, employment or financial status) or to the amount or frequency of caretaking. These findings are valuable in identifying both populations at risk and ways of improving disturbed parent/adult-child relationships. (AG)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Adult Children; Caregivers; Filial Crisis
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council on Family Relations (Washington, DC, October 13-16, 1982).