divorce separation intergenerational support older adults solidarity ambivalence
Timonen, Virpi, Doyle, Martha and O'Dwyer, Ciara, 'He really leant on me a lot': Parents' Perspectives on the Provision of Support to Divorced and Separated Adult Children in Ireland, Journal of Family Issues, 32, 12, 2011, 1622-1646
Journal of Family Issues; 32; 12;
The literature on intergenerational transfers and divorce has paid little attention to the experiences of older adults whose son or daughter has divorced or separated. We conducted 31 qualitative interviews to explore support provision from the perspective of older adults with divorced or separated adult children. All respondents were also grandparents. Older adults whose sons and daughters have experienced divorce or separation seek to accomplish two main aims, namely (a) compensating for the perceived losses that their adult children (and grandchildren) have experienced and (b) drawing boundaries around the support that they channel in order to compensate for the losses. The findings support the relevance of both the solidarity and ambivalence paradigms in seeking to understand post-separation intergenerational relationships and transfers, and hence the argument that these frameworks are compatible and complementary.
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