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Older men's and women's relationships with adult kin: how equitable are they?

Peterson, C.C. and Peterson, J.L. (1988) Older men's and women's relationships with adult kin: how equitable are they? International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 27 (3). pp. 221-231.

Link to Published Version: http://10.2190/27F4-AT50-GG3V-3MMD
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Recent research has shown that satisfying casual relationships and short-term intimacies among young adults tend to be characterized by mutual perceptions of global equity or a proportional subjective balance between each partner's overall inputs and gains. The present study extended the measurement of global equity perceptions to sixty-two elderly men's and women's relationships with their frequently-contacted spouses, adult children, and aged parents. A comparison group of forty younger adults likewise rated the equity of their marriages and relationships with elderly parents and grandparents. Results showed that the majority of both generations' involvements with all categories of immediate adult kin were seen as globally equitable. In addition, most departures from strict equity involved respondents feeling subjectively overbenefited rather than underbenefited. Theories of kinship exchange in longstanding and elderly relationships were considered. The possibilities either of subjective biases in longstanding intimates' perceptions and/or of a link between social disengagement and underbenefit during old age enabled reconciliation of the present findings with theoretical predictions.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Sage
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