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Family Ties and Aging
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Family Ties and Aging

Third Edition


October 2018 | 488 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Providing an integrated and thorough representation from current research and contemporary society, Family Ties and Aging shows how pressing issues of our time—an aging population, changing family structures, and new patterns of work-family balance—are negotiated in the family lives of middle-aged and older adults. 

Focusing on key questions such as "How do current trends and social arrangements affect family relationships?" and "What are the implications of what we know for future research, theory, practice, and policy?", authors Ingrid Arnet Connidis and Amanda E. Barnett explore groups and relationships that are typically overlooked, including the unique family situations of older single and childless persons, sibling ties, older lesbian and gay adults, and new forms of intimate relationships. The Third Edition is thoroughly updated to include the latest research and theoretical developments, recent media coverage of related issues, and new information on intimate relationships in later life and elder neglect/abuse.

 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
Part I. Introduction and Overview
 
Chapter 1: Older Persons in a Family Context
The Relevance of Studying Family Relationships in Older Age

 
The Place of Older People in Families of the Past and Present

 
Theoretical Orientation

 
Underlying Assumptions

 
Dimensions of Family Ties and Plan of the Book

 
Thinking Ahead

 
 
Chapter 2: The Availability of Family Ties in Later Life
Demographic Trends and Family Structure

 
The Availability of a Marital or Intimate Partner

 
The Availability of Children

 
The Availability of Grandchildren

 
The Availability of Siblings

 
Living Arrangements in Later Life

 
Summary

 
Conclusion to Part I

 
 
Part II. Intimate Ties
 
Chapter 3: Intimate Ties in Later Life
Defining Intimate Ties

 
The Significance of Marital Status

 
Sexuality and Aging

 
Summary

 
 
Chapter 4: Long-Term Intimate Partnerships: Marriage and Same-Sex Unions
Marriage in Later Life

 
Gay and Lesbian Partnerships

 
The Impact of Life Transitions on Intimate Ties

 
Summary

 
 
Chapter 5: Transitions in Intimate Ties: Loss of a Long-Term Partner
Widowhood

 
The Death of a Same-Sex Partner

 
Divorce

 
Dissolution of Same-Sex Relationships

 
Summary

 
 
Chapter 6: Being Single in Later Life
Portrayals of Being Single

 
Trends in Staying Single

 
The Transition to Being Single

 
The Lives of Older Single Persons

 
Gay and Lesbian Singles in Mid- and Later Life

 
Summary

 
 
Chapter 7: New Opportunities for Intimacy in Later Life
Remarriage

 
Cohabitation

 
Living Apart Together

 
Dating and Steady Companions

 
Sexual Intimacy among the Unattached in Later Life

 
Summary

 
Conclusion to Part II

 
 
Part III. Intergenerational Relations
 
Chapter 8: Exploring Intergenerational Relations
Perspectives on Intergenerational Relations

 
Older Parents and Their Adult Children

 
 
Chapter 9: Support Exchanges Between Older Parents and Adult Children
Perspectives on Support Exchanges

 
Parental Support to Adult Children

 
Child Support to Older Parents

 
Summary

 
 
Chapter 10: Childless Older Persons
Transitions to Childlessness

 
The Impact of Being Childless on Social Activity and Support in Later Life

 
The Impact of Being Childless on Quality of Life in Older Age

 
Summary

 
 
Chapter 11: Grandparents and Grandchildren
Availability of and Contact with Grandparents and Grandchildren

 
The Nature of Grandparent–Grandchild Relations

 
Grandparents Caring for Grandchildren

 
The Death of Grandparents

 
Summary

 
 
Chapter 12: Partner Transitions, Stepties, and Intergenerational Relations
The Impact of Divorce on Ties between Older Parents and their Children

 
The Impact of Divorce on Grandparent–Grandchild Ties

 
Remarriage, Stepties, and Intergenerational Relations

 
Summary

 
Conclusion to Part III

 
 
Part IV. Sibling Relationships
 
Chapter 13: Sibling Ties in Middle and Later Life
Unique Features of Sibling Ties

 
Diversity Among Siblings

 
Availability of and Contact with Siblings

 
The Nature of Sibling Ties in Later Life

 
 
Chapter 14: Life Transitions and Sibling Ties
The Impact of Changes in Marital and Parental Status

 
Aunts and Uncles, Nieces and Nephews

 
Sharing Caring for Parents

 
Support Exchanges Among Older Siblings

 
Summary and Conclusion to Part IV

 
 
Part V. Research and Policy
 
Chapter 15: Research and Policy: Issues and Directions
Research Issues

 
Social Policy

 
Summary and Conclusion to Part V

 
 
References
 
Index
 
About the Authors

This text provides the foundation for discussions...it is valuable for both undergraduate and graduate students. It
offers enough substance for graduate students to use it as a springboard for more in-depth considerations of the topics. It provides
undergraduates with the foundation of information that they can apply to their own lives.

Denise C. Lewis
University of Georgia, Human Development and Family Science

I’ve adopted this book because of its good breadth (combined with good depth, not watered down) of a good variety of topics and
issues. I like the life course and other theoretical perspectives, including the notion of “negotiation” of family
relations, and the attention to how family patterns and relations vary by both age and gender, as well as gay/lesbian relations and other
diversity in family forms.

Russell Ward
University of Albany, SUNY
Survey Monkey

I have not yet seen a book that is better-structured for my course. The main sections seem to appropriately capture the range of key family relationships during each period. 
I believe the book attends to family system-level issues better than others I reviewed. I also build a focus on psychohistorical
perspective into the course and believe this is appropriately addressed in the book.

Randy Leite, Dean, College of Health Sciences and Professions
Ohio University
Survey Monkey

This text is one of the only up-to-date comprehensive texts on this topic that I have found. Comprehensive is probably the key word. All of the major
topics are addressed.

Mary Hart, Professor/Gerontology Program Director
California University of Pennsylvania
Survey Monkey
Key features

 NEW TO THIS EDITION:

  • Key themes and theoretical orientation have been expanded to reflect developments in the field including the concept of ambivalence and increased attention to how what happens inside families relates to what happens outside them.
  • Each chapter begins with questions to consider to guide readers’ their learning as they pay attention to the critical issues.
  • New discussion of current issues on research and policy.
  • Chapters have been reorganized for emphasis and to bring clarity to the flow of ideas.
    • The long-term intimate ties of middle-aged and older persons–spouse or partner, gay or straight–are explored in Chapters 3 and 4.

o    The chapter on transitions in intimate relationships is now two chapters: Chapter 5 on transitions in intimate ties and Chapter 7 on new opportunities for intimacy in later life.

    • Other intimate relationships and opportunities, including cohabitation, LAT (living apart together) and dating are discussed in Chapter 7.
  • The growing complexity of family ties over the life course and the changing realities of what it is to be single or childless are examined.
  • Discussion of the family lives of gay and lesbian middle-aged and older persons throughout in order to be deliberately inclusive regarding all aspects of family life rather than isolating the family ties of gay and lesbian persons in a separate chapter.
  • Updated discussion of a range of research and policy issues as they relate to understanding and supporting complex and diverse family ties in the later stages of life.

KEY FEATURES:

  • Weaves the vast range of information about the many facets of family relationships and aging into a critical, comprehensive, and integrated whole.
  • Explores a range of intimate relationships, what happens when they end, and pathways to intimacy in old age.
  • Emphasizes diversity in terms of gender, age, class, race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation throughout to help readers learn about similarities and differences in family relationships as we age.
  • Links the discussion of various family relationships in mid- and later life to current and future directions for research, practice, and policy.
  • Chapters and sections end with a summary and conclusion, and quotes from various sources are used throughout to bring concepts to life.


Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 2


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