Get Families in Ageing Societies: A Multi-Disciplinary Approach PDF

By Sarah Harper

This quantity brings jointly lecturers from the united kingdom, Europe, and the USA, and from a wide spectrum of disciplinary backgrounds, to think about the results of the demographic growing old of Western societies for intergenerational relationships and the relatives.

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In particular there is evidence that falling fertility leading to earlier completion of childbearing is a key determinant of parental passage to the empty nest (Murphy and Grundy, 1996). Bengtson et al. (1990) in the US have also argued that the longer age spacing may well create difficulties in the development of bonds across the life course, especially as this may result in simultaneous demands from adolescent children and ageing parents, the sandwich generation, or women-in-the-middle phenomenon (Rossi, 1987).

4 million children being cared for full-time by their grandparents. What is clear from several of the following chapters is that at the very time in which the family may be called upon to provide reciprocal care, both upwards and downwards through the generations, societal and familial-based tensions are also challenging the available kin nexus of care. The emergence of these new family forms has thus ignited considerable interest into the question whether the new and complex myriad of family forms will be able to sustain the care and support required for the demographically ageing population in the twenty-first century.

If these characteristics are becoming more widespread, then one would expect to see an increase in both multiple cohabitations and divorce. Yet existing studies comparing the wider cohabiting and marital relationships (Leridon and Villeneuve-Gokalp, 1989; Lesthaeghe, 1992; Lewin, 1982) rarely distinguish between these two forms of cohabitation. Similarly their analysis of wider kin relationships is limited. However, given current work which suggests that children whose parents divorce have a preference for cohabitation (Kiernan, 2000), we are likely, given the current increase in divorce rates, to see a continuation in the rate of growth in cohabitations.

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