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Role conflict and ambivalence in the aged-parent-adult-child relationship


Authors: X. Yu, C. Miao, C. Leung, and C. T. Salmon
Title: Role conflict and ambivalence in the aged-parent-adult-child relationship
Abstract: Purpose The parent-child relationship is important to the solidarity of families and the emotional well-being of family members. Since people are more dependent on their close social relationships as they age, understanding the quality of relationships between aged parents and their adult children is a critical topic. Previous research shows that this relationship is complicated with both kinship and ambivalence. However, there is little research on the causes of this complexity. This paper proposes a role model to explain this complexity by studying the leadership transition within a family as the child grows. Design/methodology/approach In this paper, we proposed a novel perception to understand this transition process and explain related problems based on the analysis of the leader-follower relationship between the parents and their children. Findings When a child is born, his/her parents become the leader of this family because of their abilities, responsibilities and the requirements of the infant. This leader-follower role structure will last a long time in this family. Decades later, when the parents become old and the child grows up, the inter-generational contracts within the family and the requirement of each members change. This transition weakens the foundation of the traditional leader-follower role structure within the family. If either the parent or the child does not want to accept their new roles, both of them will suffer and struggle in this relationship. This role conflict will cause ambivalence in the relationship between aged parents and their adult children. Originality/value Based on the quantitative study model provided in this paper, we can moderate the relationships between aged parents and their adult children. This effort is meaningful in enhancing the quality of life and emotional wellbeing for senior citizens.
Keywords: Role; Ambivalence; Inter-generation relationship; Parent-child
Journal Name: International Journal of Crowd Science, vol. 1, no. 2
Publisher: Emerald Publishing
Year: 2017
Accepted PDF File: Role_conflict_and_ambivalence_in_the_aged-parent-adult-child_relationship_accepted.pdf
Permanent Link: https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCS-08-2017-0012
Reference: X. Yu, C. Miao, C. Leung, and C. T. Salmon, “Role conflict and ambivalence in the aged-parent-adult-child relationship,” International Journal of Crowd Science, vol. 1, no. 2, pp. 161–170, 2017.
bibtex: 
@article {LILY-j36,
   author 	= {Yu, Xinjia and Miao, Chunyan and Leung, Cyril and Salmon, Charles Thomas},
   title 	= {Role conflict and ambivalence in the aged-parent-adult-child relationship},
   journal 	= {International Journal of Crowd Science},
   year 	= {2017},
   month 	= {},
   volume 	= {1},
   number 	= {2},
   pages 	= {161-170},
   publisher 	= {Emerald Publishing},
}