Publications

Tensions in the Parent and Adult Child Relationship: Links to Solidarity and Ambivalence

Tensions are normative in the parent and adult child relationship, but there is little research on the topics that cause the most tension or whether tensions are associated with overall relationship quality. In this study, adult sons and daughters, age 22 to 49, and their mothers and fathers (N = 158 families, 474 individuals) reported the intensity of different tension topics and relationship quality (solidarity and ambivalence) with one another. Tensions varied between and within families by generation, gender, and age of offspring. Compared to tensions regarding individual issues, tensions regarding the relationship were associated with lower affective solidarity and greater ambivalence. Findings are consistent with the developmental schism hypothesis, which indicates that parent-child tensions are common and are the result of discrepancies in developmental needs that vary by generation, gender, and age. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]