Only as Happy as the Least Happy Child: Multiple Grown Children's Problems and Successes and Middle-aged Parents Well-being

Only as Happy as the Least Happy Child: Multiple Grown Children's Problems and Successes and... Objectives.Middle-aged parents well-being may be tied to successes and failures of grown children. Moreover, most parents have more than one child, but studies have not considered how different children's successes and failures may be associated with parental well-being.Methods.Middle-aged adults (aged 4060; N 633) reported on each of their grown children (n 1,384) and rated their own well-being. Participants indicated problems each child had experienced in the past two years, rated their children's successes, as well as positive and negative relationship qualities.Results.Analyses compared an exposure model (i.e., having one grown child with a problem or deemed successful) and a cumulative model (i.e., total problems or successes in the family). Consistent with the exposure and cumulative models, having one child with problems predicted poorer parental well-being and the more problems in the family, the worse parental well-being. Having one successful child did not predict well-being, but multiple grown children with higher total success in the family predicted enhanced parental well-being. Relationship qualities partially explained associations between children's successes and parental well-being.Discussion.Discussion focuses on benefits and detriments parents derive from how grown progeny turn out and particularly the implications of grown children's problems. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences Oxford University Press

Only as Happy as the Least Happy Child: Multiple Grown Children's Problems and Successes and Middle-aged Parents Well-being

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Publisher
Oxford University Press
Copyright
The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.
Subject
The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
ISSN
1079-5014
eISSN
1758-5368
DOI
10.1093/geronb/gbr086
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Objectives.Middle-aged parents well-being may be tied to successes and failures of grown children. Moreover, most parents have more than one child, but studies have not considered how different children's successes and failures may be associated with parental well-being.Methods.Middle-aged adults (aged 4060; N 633) reported on each of their grown children (n 1,384) and rated their own well-being. Participants indicated problems each child had experienced in the past two years, rated their children's successes, as well as positive and negative relationship qualities.Results.Analyses compared an exposure model (i.e., having one grown child with a problem or deemed successful) and a cumulative model (i.e., total problems or successes in the family). Consistent with the exposure and cumulative models, having one child with problems predicted poorer parental well-being and the more problems in the family, the worse parental well-being. Having one successful child did not predict well-being, but multiple grown children with higher total success in the family predicted enhanced parental well-being. Relationship qualities partially explained associations between children's successes and parental well-being.Discussion.Discussion focuses on benefits and detriments parents derive from how grown progeny turn out and particularly the implications of grown children's problems.

Journal

The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social SciencesOxford University Press

Published: Mar 19, 2012

Keywords: Family Grown children Middle age Midlife Stress Well-being

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