The relationship of intergenerational reciprocity of aid to the morale of older parents: Equity and exchange theory comparisons

B. J. McCulloch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations

Abstract

Information concerning the relationship of intergenerational helping to older adult well-being is ambiguous. Intergenerational reciprocity was investigated using two competing theoretical perspectives, social exchange and equity propositions. Social exchange propositions predict a linear relationship between intergenerational aid and older parent morale, with higher morale positively related to giving or receiving more intergenerational help. Equity propositions predict that the intergenerational aid, morale relationship will be curvilinear, with higher older parent morale related to balanced exchanges of intergenerational aid. Neither theoretical perspective was supported by the data. Intergenerational aid was not useful in explaining variance in older parent morale regardless of the operational definition of intergenerational aid. These results provide support for earlier studies that conclude the amount of help exchanged within families does not affect the well-being of older family members.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S150-S155
JournalJournals of Gerontology
Volume45
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1990

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