Daily reciprocity and well-being: A diary study of intergenerational support between mothers and adult children during the COVID-19 pandemic

Da JIANG, Helene H. FUNG

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2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives: Intergenerational support between aging parents and adult children is important to the well-being of both groups, especially during public health emergencies. However, few previous studies have examined the effects of daily support between parents and children on their well-being during public health emergencies. To fill in this gap, we examined the association between daily support and well-being in mothers and their adult children during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.

Methods: Seventy-seven pairs of mothers (aged 44–80 years, M = 53.78, SD = 9.57) and adult children (aged 18–54 years, M = 26.61, SD = 9.46; 19% male) in mainland China participated in a 14-day daily diary study during a stay-at-home period. All of the participants reported the daily emotional and instrumental support they had given to and received from their mother/child each day for 14 consecutive days. Their daily positive affect and negative affect were also measured.

Results: Receiving more support on a given day was associated with providing more support on that day, suggesting a daily reciprocity. This finding was consistent across mothers and children. A lower level of being underbenefitted on a day was associated with better daily well-being of children, but not that of mothers. Providing support, but not receiving support, was positively associated with mothers’ daily well-being, whereas receiving support, but not providing support, was positively associated with children’s daily well-being.

Discussion: This study provides evidence of daily intergenerational support during a global public health emergency. The findings shed light on the importance of daily reciprocity and its implications for well-being. Copyright © 2021 Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e46-e56
JournalThe Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Volume77
Issue number4
Early online dateJun 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022

Citation

Jiang, D., & Fung, H. H. (2022). Daily reciprocity and well-being: A diary study of intergenerational support between mothers and adult children during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 77(4), e46-e56. doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbab099

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Daily support
  • Diary study
  • Intergenerational ties
  • Reciprocity

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