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Adult Children

  • By: Ruth Nemzoff
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

Mothering adult children is used to describe mothering a child with mental retardation or other disabilities that require the mother to continue her daily caretaking tasks into the child's adult years. It is also often used in connection with mothering children who are alcoholics. However, the most common category of mothers of adult children, though relatively little has been written about this group, is the parent of a child who is gown and is now an adult person.

The use of this oxymoron adult child is necessitated by the lack of vocabulary in English to describe the relationship between parent and child once the child has matured. In the United States and Canada, defining when adulthood begins is difficult as graduations and marriage, the traditional

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