Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Grown Kids Involved In Abuse Feel They Had Miserable Childhoods."

Also, those who said their parents gave them financial help or major gifts — cars, furniture — as young adults tended to live closer and keep in frequent contact with their parents later. Those who expected an inheritance also stayed in better contact.

see: ROLE REVERSAL: USA TODAY's series on caring for aging parents

Middle-aged parents who wonder how their grown children will treat them in old age should look at how they're treating their own elderly parents, according to a multi-generation study released Sunday.

"Apparently, we have to demonstrate the desired behavior. We can't be estranged from our parents and then expect our kids to be nice to us later," says Daphna Gans, a gerontologist at the RAND Corp. She did the study at the University of Southern California with sociologist Merril Silverstein.

Their report at the Gerontological Society of America meeting in San Francisco followed 237 mothers and their 379 offspring over 15 years. At the start, mothers were mostly in their 50s and had living parents as well as young-adult children. Later, mothers were in their mid-60s to late 70s. Those who reported getting the most emotional support and practical help from their grown children:

•Had provided similar care or help to their own parents.
•Had formed strong emotional bonds with their children, as reported earlier by the offspring.

"Very often someone will say: 'My mother was so good to me when I was growing up. I feel blessed that I'm able to help her now.' "

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