Women's changing roles and help to elderly parents: attitudes of three generations of women

J Gerontol. 1983 Sep;38(5):597-607. doi: 10.1093/geronj/38.5.597.


Data on the effects of women's changing roles on attitudes toward responsibility for care of elderly adults were gathered from three generations of women (N = 403). Elderly women, middle-generation daughters, and young-adult granddaughters were compared on responses to Likert-scaled attitude items relating to gender-appropriate roles and care of elderly persons (including filial responsibility and acceptability of formal and informal supports). Significant generational differences occurred on attitude items relating to sharing of child care, parent care, and household tasks by men and women, but majorities of all generations were in favor of such sharing. The oldest generation was most receptive (and the youngest the least receptive) to formal services for elderly persons, but all three generations agreed that old people should be able to depend on adult children for help. Values about family care of elderly adults have not eroded despite demographic and socioeconomic changes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Attitude*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Parent-Child Relations*
  • Psychological Tests
  • Role
  • Social Values
  • United States
  • Women / psychology*