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The Baby Boomers' intergenerational relationships.
Gerontologist. 2012 Apr; 52(2):199-209.G

Abstract

PURPOSE

As Baby Boomers enter late life, relationships with family members gain importance. This review article highlights two aspects of their intergenerational relationships: (a) caregiving for aging parents and (b) interactions with adult children in the context of changing marital dynamics.

DESIGN AND METHODS

The researchers describe three studies: (a) the Within Family Differences Study (WFDS) of mothers aged 65-75 and their multiple grown children (primarily Baby Boomers) ongoing since 2001; (b) the Family Exchanges Study (FES) of Baby Boomers aged 42-60, their spouses, parents, and multiple grown children ongoing since 2008; and (c) the Longitudinal Study of Generations (LSoG) of 351 three-generation families started when the Baby Boomers were teenagers in 1971, with interviews every 3-5 years from 1985 to 2005.

RESULTS

These studies show that the Baby Boomers in midlife navigate complex intergenerational patterns. The WFDS finds aging parents differentiate among Baby Boomer children in midlife, favoring some more than others. The FES shows that the Baby Boomers are typically more involved with their children than with their aging parents; Boomers' personal values, family members' needs, and personal rewards shape decisions about support. The LSoG documents how divorce and remarriage dampen intergenerational obligations in some families. Moreover, loosening cultural norms have weakened family bonds in general.

IMPLICATIONS

Reviews of these studies provide insights into how the Baby Boomers may negotiate caregiving for aging parents as well as the likelihood of family care they will receive when their own health declines in the future.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Human Development & Family Sciences, University of Texas, Austin, TX 78712, USA. kfingerman@austin.utexas.eduNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
Review

Language

eng

PubMed ID

22250130

Citation

Fingerman, Karen L., et al. "The Baby Boomers' Intergenerational Relationships." The Gerontologist, vol. 52, no. 2, 2012, pp. 199-209.
Fingerman KL, Pillemer KA, Silverstein M, et al. The Baby Boomers' intergenerational relationships. Gerontologist. 2012;52(2):199-209.
Fingerman, K. L., Pillemer, K. A., Silverstein, M., & Suitor, J. J. (2012). The Baby Boomers' intergenerational relationships. The Gerontologist, 52(2), 199-209. https://doi.org/10.1093/geront/gnr139
Fingerman KL, et al. The Baby Boomers' Intergenerational Relationships. Gerontologist. 2012;52(2):199-209. PubMed PMID: 22250130.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - The Baby Boomers' intergenerational relationships. AU - Fingerman,Karen L, AU - Pillemer,Karl A, AU - Silverstein,Merril, AU - Suitor,J Jill, Y1 - 2012/01/16/ PY - 2012/1/18/entrez PY - 2012/1/18/pubmed PY - 2012/6/19/medline SP - 199 EP - 209 JF - The Gerontologist JO - Gerontologist VL - 52 IS - 2 N2 - PURPOSE: As Baby Boomers enter late life, relationships with family members gain importance. This review article highlights two aspects of their intergenerational relationships: (a) caregiving for aging parents and (b) interactions with adult children in the context of changing marital dynamics. DESIGN AND METHODS: The researchers describe three studies: (a) the Within Family Differences Study (WFDS) of mothers aged 65-75 and their multiple grown children (primarily Baby Boomers) ongoing since 2001; (b) the Family Exchanges Study (FES) of Baby Boomers aged 42-60, their spouses, parents, and multiple grown children ongoing since 2008; and (c) the Longitudinal Study of Generations (LSoG) of 351 three-generation families started when the Baby Boomers were teenagers in 1971, with interviews every 3-5 years from 1985 to 2005. RESULTS: These studies show that the Baby Boomers in midlife navigate complex intergenerational patterns. The WFDS finds aging parents differentiate among Baby Boomer children in midlife, favoring some more than others. The FES shows that the Baby Boomers are typically more involved with their children than with their aging parents; Boomers' personal values, family members' needs, and personal rewards shape decisions about support. The LSoG documents how divorce and remarriage dampen intergenerational obligations in some families. Moreover, loosening cultural norms have weakened family bonds in general. IMPLICATIONS: Reviews of these studies provide insights into how the Baby Boomers may negotiate caregiving for aging parents as well as the likelihood of family care they will receive when their own health declines in the future. SN - 1758-5341 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/22250130/The_Baby_Boomers'_intergenerational_relationships_ L2 - https://academic.oup.com/gerontologist/article-lookup/doi/10.1093/geront/gnr139 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -