Department of Sociology, Cornell University, 323 Uris Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853.
Ambivalence Toward Adult Children: Differences Between Mothers and Fathers
Article first published online: 24 SEP 2012
Copyright © National Council on Family Relations, 2012
Journal of Marriage and Family
Volume 74, Issue 5, pages 1101–1113, October 2012
How to Cite
Pillemer, K., Munsch, C. L., Fuller-Rowell, T., Riffin, C. and Suitor, J. J. (2012), Ambivalence Toward Adult Children: Differences Between Mothers and Fathers. Journal of Marriage and Family, 74: 1101–1113. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-3737.2012.01004.x
Department of Population Health Sciences, University of Wisconsin, WARF 707, Madison, WI 53726.
Department of Human Development, Cornell University, G44 Martha Van Rensselaer Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853.
Department of Sociology/Center on Aging and the Life Course, 700 Stone Hall, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907.
This article was edited by Ralph LaRossa.
- Issue published online: 24 SEP 2012
- Article first published online: 24 SEP 2012
- families in middle and later life;
- intergenerational relations;
- parent – child relations
The authors examined how ambivalence toward adult children within the same family differs between mothers and fathers and whether patterns of maternal and paternal ambivalence can be explained by the same set of predictors. Using data collected in the Within-Family Differences Study, they compared older married mothers' and fathers' (N = 129) assessments of ambivalence toward each of their adult children (N = 444). Fathers reported higher levels of ambivalence overall. Both mothers and fathers reported lower ambivalence toward children who were married, better educated, and who they perceived to hold similar values; however, the effects of marital status and education were more pronounced for fathers, whereas the effect of children's value congruence was more pronounced for mothers. Fathers reported lower ambivalence toward daughters than sons, whereas mothers reported less ambivalence toward sons than daughters.