Discrepancy in reports of support exchanges between parents and adult offspring: Within- and between-family differences

Using data from 929 parent–child dyads nested in 458 three-generation families (aged 76 for the oldest generation, 50 for the middle generation, and 24 for the youngest generation), this study investigated how discrepancies in reports of support that parents and their adult offspring exchanged with one another vary both within and between families, and what factors explain variations in dyadic discrepancies. We found substantial within- and between-family differences in dyadic discrepancies in reports of support exchanges. For downward exchanges (from parents to offspring), both dyad-specific characteristics within a family (e.g., gender composition, relative levels of relationship quality, and family obligation) and shared family characteristics (e.g., average levels of relationship quality) showed significant effects on dyadic discrepancies. For upward exchanges (from offspring to parents), however, only dyad-specific characteristics (e.g., gender composition, coresidence, relative levels of positive relationship quality, and family obligation) were significantly associated with discrepancies. Discrepancies in support exchanges were mainly associated with dyad-specific characteristics, but they also appeared to be influenced by family emotional environments. The use of multiple informants revealed that families differ in discrepancies in reports of exchanges, which has implications for quality of family life as well as future exchanges. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)