Intergenerational interactions and relationship quality: A daily study among mothers and their adult children

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: The parent-child relationship is one of the most long-lasting relationships in human life. Such relationship is particularly adaptive during public health emergencies that threaten human life. However, few studies have examined the effects of daily exchanges in support between aging parents and adult children on the relationship quality during public health emergencies. Using data collected during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, we examined the relationship between daily support and relationship quality among middle-aged and older mothers and adult children. 

Methods: Seventy-seven dyads of middle-aged and older mothers (age range: 44-80 years, Mage = 53.78, SDage = 9.57) and adult children (age range: 18-54 years, Mage = 26.61, SDage = 9.46) participated in the study. They reported their daily exchanges with the other (i.e., support they had received from and given to each other) and daily relationship quality (i.e., relationship satisfaction and trust) each day for 14 consecutive days. 

Results: The perception of being underbenefited on Day N was associated with daily relationship satisfaction on the concurrent day in children but not mothers. It was associated with daily trust toward the relationship partner in both mothers and children on Day N. Both providing and receiving more support on Day N was associated with better relationship satisfaction for both mothers and children on Day N. Only receiving (not providing) more support on Day N was associated with greater trust toward the partner on Day N for both mothers and children. The time-lagged associations were not significant. 

Discussion: The findings highlight the importance of daily reciprocity and daily support exchanges on relationship quality during a public health emergency. Copyright © 2023 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbergbad160
JournalThe Journals of Gerontology: Series B
Volume79
Issue number1
Early online dateOct 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024

Citation

Jiang, D., Lee, C.-K. J., Kong, D., & Chiu, M. M. (2024). Intergenerational interactions and relationship quality: A daily study among mothers and their adult children. The Journals of Gerontology: Series B, 79(1), gbad160. https://doi.org/10.1093/geronb/gbad160

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Daily interaction
  • Diary study
  • Intergenerational relationship
  • Relationship quality

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