The study of parent-child relationships has long been of interest to behavioral scientists, both for its theoretical importance and for its practice and policy implications. There are, however, certain limitations to the knowledge in this area. First, research on parents and children is spread throughout a number of disciplines and as a consequence is not well integrated. Further, there has been little dialogue among researchers concerned with parents of young children and those interested in middle-aged and elderly parents and their offspring. The present volume predicates the notion that there is considerable similarity in the issues explored by researchers on different points of the life course.

Contributions by leading scholars in psychology, sociology, and anthropology are organized into four sections, each of which contains a treatment of at least two stages in the life course. The sections cover attachment in early childhood and in later life, life course transitions, relationships within families, and the influence of social structural factors on parent-child relations. Although the chapters make important contributions to basic research and theory, many also deal with issues of public concern, such as day care, maternal employment, gay and lesbian relationships, and care of the elderly.

part 1|42 pages


chapter 2|18 pages

Attachment Theory in Old Age

Protection of the Attached Figure

part 2|70 pages


chapter 4|34 pages

Double Jeopardy

Identity Transitions and Parent–Child Relations Among Gay and Lesbian Youth

part 4|79 pages

Social Structure and the Family

chapter 12|27 pages

Transitions in Work and Family Arrangements

Mothers' Employment Conditions, Children's Experiences, and Child Outcomes

chapter 13|26 pages

Age-Group Relationships

Generational Equity and Inequity