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Old age care affected by divorce

Old age care affected by divorce
17th September 2007

Divorcees are less likely to be involved in the day-to-day care of an ageing parent than those who have not experienced marital breakdown, according to a new study.

Dr Adam Davey from Temple University found that the later the divorce occurred, the more likely it was to have a detrimental effect on the parent-child relationship.

The greater proportion of time spent with a divorced mother, the higher the probability that the child will provide assistance with activities such as household chores when the mother is older, according to the findings.

Dr Davey, gerontologist who studies trends in the baby boomer generation and other ageing issues, commented: "It's not the divorce itself that affects the quality of the parent-child relationship, but it's what happens afterwards such as geographical separation.

"Marital transitions affect families in a number of ways. They can interrupt the relationship of support between a parent and child, and the evidence suggests that the continuity of support by parents and to parents matters."

The study appears in the September issue of Advances in Life Course Research.