As a result of the divorce revolution, more children grow up in complex families. Yet, we know little about how family complexity affects relationships when children are adults and parents are ageing. In this article, we use unique survey data to test fundamental ideas about intergenerational ties: the role of biology, partnerships (marriage and cohabitation), residence, and selection.
Assessing changes in socialization values for children provides a unique window into how Americans perceive the landscape of their society. We examine whether, since the mid-1980s, Americans (1) emphasized survival values, like hard work, for children, as economic precarity rose or (2) prioritized self-expression values, like autonomy and compassion, as expected in postindustrial society.
Time spent with children has become a central concern in North American parenting culture. Using the 2011 Canadian Work, Stress, and Health Study (n = 2,007), the authors examine employed parents’ perceptions about having too little time with children and whether these relate to parents’ mental and physical health. The “pernicious stressor” hypothesis posits that the demands of paid work combined with intensive mothering or involved fathering create unique time tensions that act as chronic stressors and that these are associated with poorer health and well-being.
Although research finds that parents report greater depression than nonparents, we do not know whether the costs and benefits of parenthood for mental and physical health vary across parenting stages. Using the first wave of data from National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States (MIDUS; N = 2,730), we examine disparities in eight measures of mental and physical health between nonparents and parents whose youngest child is: (1) under 13, (2) 13 to 17, (3) 18 to 29, and (4) 30 years and older.
This study examines how gender attitudes moderate the relationship between employment and depressive symptoms using data from the 1987 to 2006 waves of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 Cohort. Results indicate that at age 40, the association of employment with reduced symptoms of depression is greatest for mothers who had previously expressed support for traditional gender roles. This finding was robust to controls for prior depressive symptoms.
Unintended childbearing is associated with poorer parental well-being, but most scholarship in this area takes an individual-level approach to unintended childbearing. Drawing on couple data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study–Birth Cohort (ECLS-B), I treat unintended childbearing as a couple-level construct to provide a more comprehensive understanding of how individuals’ intentions, partners’ intentions, and gender are linked with psychological distress in the transition to parenthood. I make two chief contributions to prior research.
ASA speaks with sociologist Mito Akiyoshi at the 2016 ASA Annual Meeting on August, 2016, in Seattle, WA. Akiyoshi talks about what it means to “do sociology,” how she uses sociology in her work, highlights of her work in the field, the relevance of sociological work to society, and her advice to students interested in entering the field.
A growing body of research suggests that maternal exposure to discrimination helps to explain racial disparities in children’s health. However, no study has considered if the intergenerational health effects of unfair treatment operate in the opposite direction—from child to mother. To this end, we use data from mother–child pairs in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 to determine whether adolescent and young adult children’s experiences of discrimination influence their mother’s health across midlife.
Parents’ relationships with their adult children play an important role in shaping mid and later life health. While these relationships are often sources of support, stressors in the lives of children can compromise parents’ health as they age. I consider that a child’s incarceration is also a stressor that could imperil parents’ health through social, emotional, and economic strains that parents may experience as a result.
How does a child’s incarceration influence their mother’s health at midlife?
Prior research shows that adverse circumstances in the lives of children can harm parental health, yet we know little about how a child’s incarceration shapes parental well-being.