Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Relationships More Important than Genetic Ties When Deciding Who Cares for Aging Family Members, MU Researchers Say

19.10.2011
Divorce and remarriage affect beliefs about who should care for elder relatives

America’s elderly population will nearly double by 2050, according to a Pew Research report. As baby boomers enter retirement, concern exists as to who will care for them as they age. Traditionally, children have accepted the caregiving responsibilities, but those caregiving roles are becoming blurred as more families are affected by divorce and remarriage than in previous decades. Now, University of Missouri researchers have found that relationship quality trumps genetic ties when determining caregiving obligations.

Lawrence Ganong, a professor and co-chair in the MU Department of Human Development and Family Studies in the College of Human Environmental Sciences (HES), studied how divorce and remarriage affect beliefs about who should care for aging relatives. He found that relationship quality, a history of mutual help, and resource availability influence decisions about who cares for parents and stepparents.

“The idea that family obligations are based on genetic ties is not true for most Americans,” Ganong said. “How close family members are to each other, how much they have been helped by them in the past, and what hardships caregiving might place on family members are important factors when people consider caring for older kin.”

Ganong and Marilyn Coleman, Curators’ Professor in HES, presented study participants with hypothetical caregiving scenarios involving an aging parent or stepparent and a child or stepchild. Participants then responded to questions about their perceptions of who should provide care. The majority of participants said biological factors are relevant in caregiving decisions, but they do not automatically require adult children to help older relatives.

“Based on what happens before, during and after marital transitions, family members may change what they think their responsibilities are regarding helping and providing care to kin,” Ganong said. “As a society that relies on families to provide much of the care for older adults, we need to better understand the effects of changes in families due to divorce and remarriage.”

Ganong recommends that middle-aged adults have honest conversations with parents and stepparents about expectations for caregiving and other types of assistance before needs arise.

Ganong presented the paper, “Who Gets Custody of Grandma After the Divorce? How Marital Transitions Affect Family Caregiving Responsibilities,” at the 10th International Family Nursing Conference in Kyoto, Japan, earlier this year. Ganong has a joint appointment as a professor in the MU Sinclair School of Nursing. The research was funded by the National Institute on Aging, part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

Emily Martin | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.Missouri.edu

Further reports about: Divorce Ganong Genetic clues Human vaccine brain aging family members relationships

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Illinois researchers researchers find tweeting in cities lower than expected
21.02.2018 | University of Illinois College of Engineering

nachricht Polluted air may pollute our morality
08.02.2018 | Association for Psychological Science

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers invent tiny, light-powered wires to modulate brain's electrical signals

21.02.2018 | Life Sciences

The “Holy Grail” of peptide chemistry: Making peptide active agents available orally

21.02.2018 | Life Sciences

Atomic structure of ultrasound material not what anyone expected

21.02.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>