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Adult Children's Divorce and Intergenerational Relationships

Glenna Spitze, John R. Logan, Glenn Deane and Suzanne Zerger
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 56, No. 2 (May, 1994), pp. 279-293
DOI: 10.2307/353100
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/353100
Page Count: 15
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Adult Children's Divorce and Intergenerational Relationships
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Abstract

We examine effects of adult children's divorce on several dimensions of their relationships with parents, using a local probability sample of 905 parents. We find that an adult child's divorce is a fairly common experience for parents. Approximately half of parents above age 60 who have at least one ever-married child have experienced a child's divorce. The experience of currently having grandchildren not in an adult child's custody is much less common, but affects around 1 in 10 parents in their sixties at a given time. The effects of divorce differ between sons and daughters. In general, divorced daughters with child custody have more contact than married daughters and receive more help from parents. Sons, on the other hand, receive more babysitting help when they are married than in other situations. Divorce does not decrease daughters' help to parents, as some observers have feared. Grandchildren are viewed as pivotal in these relations. We discuss implications for future intergenerational relations and suggestions for further research.

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