The oldest old and their children: how strong are the relationships?

M Carlsson-Agren, S Berg, Claes-Göran Wenestam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Eighty-five-year-old parents (N = 99) and their middle-aged children (N = 58) participated in a study on solidarity in intergenerational relationships in Sweden. The research model utilized evaluated six dimensions of family solidarity: family structures and associational, affectional, consensual, functional and normative solidarity. The finding of close family bonds in most of these areas may be attributed to the fact that the extensive Swedish public home-help system facilitated relationships on more equal terms. While the children were relieved from much responsibility for their parents' needs, most parents did not experience feelings of dependency on their children. It was in fact evident that even very old parents can be a source for help to their children. Children were, however, the main providers for emotional support and this role could not be substituted by formal caregivers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-300
Number of pages7
JournalAging (Milan, Italy)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes

Swedish Standard Keywords

  • Psychology (501)
  • Social Sciences (5)




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