Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants


Support between Adult Daughters and Their Mothers, Relationship Quality, and Life Satisfaction




College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Date Range



Due to increased life expectancy in industrialized countries, parents and children share more time together. Irrespective of the existence of a social security system, the exchange of support remains important in the parent-child relationship throughout the whole life (Arber & Attias-Donfut, 2000). This intergenerational exchange is comprised of emotional, instrumental, and financial support, and represents a major aspect of the model of intergenerational functional solidarity developed by Bengtson and colleagues (e.g. Bengtson & Roberts, 1991). The main goal of this study was to test one assumption of this model, namely that a balance between support provided and received will increase the quality of the parent-child relationship (Bengtson & Roberts, 1991), and may also be relevant for well-being, especially among the older generation. Eighty three dyads of middle aged women (M = 45.17 years, SD = 5.68) and their mothers (M = 67.92 years, SD = 6.00) from a large city in the Midwest were interviewed. Cross-sectional self report data with respect to the extent of different forms of support they give and receive, relationship quality, and life satisfaction were assessed. Preliminary analyses show that a reciprocally balanced perception of the give-and-take between adult daughters and their mothers led to greater intimacy and fewer conflicts between them. Also, the results suggest that receiving support per se is not always beneficial for the recipient. The findings will be discussed within the framework of parent-child relationship in later life.

Conference Name

63rd Annual Scientific Meeting of GSA

Conference Location

New Orleans, LA

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