Filial Anxiety

This entry addresses the concept of filial anxiety, which involves an adult child’s concerns about an aging parent’s decline and the ability to provide needed care. This entry first recounts developmental changes in the adult child and elderly parent relationship, the attainment of filial maturity, and the origins of filial anxiety. This entry then examines research on variables related to filial anxiety.

Concerns about parental care have early roots in childhood. In most societies, families socialize children to have a sense of obligation or responsibility for the care of aging parents in their later years, with the idea that adult children assume such responsibility. Not all adult children actually will take on this responsibility, however, and there are many variables related to willingness to undertake ...

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