ERIC Number: ED216277
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Nov-12
Reference Count: 0
Adult Children's Attachment and Helping Behavior to Elderly Parents: A Path Model.
Cicirelli, Victor G.
Since adult children are both an essential and a limited support system for elderly parents, it is important to understand the factors which elicit and sustain their helping behavior. A causal path model based on the attachment and equity theories was constructed in which adult children's feelings of attachment to their parents lead to their attachment and helping behaviors. The model was tested with data from interviews with 148 adult children who had living elderly mothers. The eight variables considered in the model and measured in the sample included: (1) feelings of attachment; (2) attachment behaviors; (3) filial obligation; (4) interpersonal conflict; (5) mother's dependency; (6) negative feelings; (7) present helping behaviors; and (8) future help. Results indicated that present helping behaviors, attachment behaviors, and feelings of attachment had the strongest influence on commitment to provide future help. Filial obligation had an indirect influence mediated by attachment behaviors. The results suggest that appeals to a sense of obligation in a direct attempt to stimulate adult children to help elderly parents may not be fruitful. (Author/NRB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: NRTA-AARP Andrus Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Joint Annual Meeting of the Scientific Gerontological Society (34th) and the Scientific & Educational Canadian Association on Gerontology (10th), (Toronto, Ontario, Canada, November 8-12, 1981).