Parents suffer more in rift with children
The quarrel and tension between parents and their adult children hurt parents more than the children, says a latest study conducted on the chemistry of Parent-Child relationship in USA.
The researchers emphasized on a variety of issues, which usually create tension between the natural relationship, including the personality differences, past relationship problems, children's finances, housekeeping habits and lifestyles, etc.
Such issues affect parents the most as they invest more time in the relationship and are also concerned with launching their children into successful adulthood, said the study.
“The parent-child relationship is one of the longest lasting social ties human beings establish. This tie is often highly positive and supportive but it also commonly includes feelings of irritation, tension and ambivalence,” said Kira Birditt, co-author and researcher of the study at University of Michigan Institute for Social Research (ISR).
Birditt and colleagues at Purdue and Pennsylvania State universities analyzed data on 474 parents and adult children who were at least 22 years old.
The study also reveals that parents are reportedly more likely to quarrel with daughters than with sons. This is because the parents have closer relationship with daughters than sons and involve more contact that may provide more opportunities for tensions in the parent-daughter tie.
On the other hand, both adult sons and adult daughters reported more tension with their mothers than with their fathers, due to the personality differences and unsolicited advice, or the children feel that their mothers make more demands for closeness or they are generally more intrusive than fathers, study says.
More surprisingly, the study reveals that parental sensitivity of tension increases with the adult children's age, especially on the nature of interaction.
‘Middle-aged children may be less invested in the parent-child tie than young adult children because they’re more likely to have formed their own families and experience multiple role demands,’ Kira said.
The situation turns worse when parents become older and need more attention and care, while at the same time the adult children get involved more in their own children and pull away support from their parents, added the researcher.
The study will be published in an upcoming issue of the journal Psychology and Aging.
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