ERIC Number: ED268425
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Nov
The Quality of Life over the Family Life Cycle.
Aldous, Joan; And Others
Studies conducted in the 1960s (Aldous and Hill, 1969) examining the quality of life in families based on their affective and financial resources identified the childbearing stage and the stage when adolescents were present as especially stressful periods. Findings from the 1978 Quality of American Life survey (Campbell and Converse, 1980) were compared with results from these earlier studies using analogous quality of life indicators and dividing subjects into seven life cycle stages: (1) newly established marriages (N=143); (2) childbearing families (N=221); (3) families with school-aged children (N=309); (4) families with adolescents (N=181); (5) families with young adult children (N=306); (6) postparental families (N=300); and (7) aging families (N=178). The 1978 results were similar to earlier studies in that, on indicators of both sentimental and instrumental resources, older couples tended to be more content and persons in the childrearing years reported being statistically significantly less satisfied than other groups. The most striking difference between the results of the 1969 and the 1978 studies was the perception of 1978 couples in newly established marriages of fewer expressive and financial resources. This finding suggests that couples in new marriages who stay married and have children may lack the build-up of resources in this first stage that could buffer the loss of financial and sentimental assets in the child-present stages. A comparison of groups differing on occupation, gender, wife's employment, and the presence of husbands within stages helped to specify which groups were particularly liable to instrumental and expressive deficits and surpluses in which stages. References, tables and figures are attached. An appendix gives the operationalization of the study variables. (NB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council on Family Relations (Dallas, TX, November 4-8, 1985). Best copy available.