Aging families and the gendered life course

Phyllis Moen, Jack Lam, Melanie N.G. Jackson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

5 Scopus citations


Family scholarship primarily focuses on the strains of working families raising children. But increased longevity and the large aging Boomer cohort necessitate attention to families moving through the later life course. Drawing on research conducted chiefly in the United States, we take a gendered life course approach, incorporating key life-course themes and processes: historical timing, transitions and trajectories, linked lives, and family adaptive strategies. These processes are taking place on a moving platform of demographic, structural, and policy changes-in family composition, work and retirement, and caregiving. Much of what we know comes from studies of previous cohorts in the twentieth century; such findings may not be relevant to the unique experiences of older families in the twenty-first century. This review points to the need for research on contemporary aging families, as well as differences according to their composition, race/ethnicity, social class, and life course stage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Wiley Blackwell Companion to the Sociology of Families
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781118374092
ISBN (Print)9781119406037
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


  • Aging population
  • Baby boomers
  • Caregiving
  • Family composition
  • Gendered life course
  • Intergenerational relationships
  • Older families
  • Retirement
  • Work


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