In the 1950s, family scholars emphasized the importance of parents and their young children, suggesting that as societies become more modernized young families would break off from intergenerational connections and focus on the child-rearing unit. However, in contrast to these assumptions, families maintain enduring connections across the generations. In fact, because of increased life expectancy and childbearing patterns, four-generation families are becoming common. Although intergenerational relationships exist across the life span, these relationships take on different forms at different stages of development. This entry describes how intergenerational relationship quality varies across the life span, including closeness, conflict, and ambivalence. It also considers how intergenerational ties vary by the gender of both parents and children.

Intergenerational Relations and Developmental Stages

Intergenerational relations vary across the life span in ...

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