ERIC Number: ED344112
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Nov-23
Parent-Child and Sibling Relationships in Later Adulthood: Predictors of Contact Frequency and Perceived Closeness.
Bayen, Ute J.; And Others
Many studies of family relationships in later adulthood fail to take into account earlier experiences. This study investigated predictors of family contact and closeness. Data were provided by 500 adult children (aged 22 to 72) and 190 adult siblings (aged 45 to 96) of elderly participants in the Seattle Longitudinal Study. Subjects rated the closeness to their parent or sibling and indicated the frequency of face-to-face, telephone, and letter contact. Subjects' perceptions of their childhood home environment were assessed using six subscales from a revised version of the Family Environment Scale (FES). A majority of the respondents reported frequent contact with and high closeness to their elderly relative. Overall findings suggest closer relationships and greater contact frequency between parents and offspring than between siblings. Multiple regression analyses were used to determine the relative importance of demographic variables, FES scales, and closeness or contact measures to predict perceived closeness, face-to-face contact, and telephone contact in parent-offspring-pairs and sibling pairs. For parent-offspring pairs, significant predictors of closeness included amount of phone contact and number of years lived together. Predictors of contact included closeness, proximity, relationship type, FES cohesion, and other demographic variables. For sibling pairs, the only significant predictor of closeness was that sister-sister pairs perceived themselves as closer than other gender composition pairs. Significant predictors of contact for siblings included proximity, closeness, age, and marital status of respondent. (Author/LLL)
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 of America (44th, San Francisco, CA, November 22-26, 1991).