Life Course Stage in Young Adulthood and Intergenerational Congruence in Family Attitudes

By Bucx, Freek; Raaijmakers, Quinten et al. | Journal of Marriage and Family, February 2010 | Go to article overview

Life Course Stage in Young Adulthood and Intergenerational Congruence in Family Attitudes


Bucx, Freek, Raaijmakers, Quinten, Van Wel, Frits, Journal of Marriage and Family


We investigated how intergenerational congruence in family-related attitudes depends on life course stage in young adulthood. Recent data from the Netherlands Kinship Panel Study were used; the present sample included 2,041 dyads of young adults and their parents. Findings are discussed in terms of the elasticity in intergenerational attitude congruence in response to young adults' life course transitions. Our results suggest that intergenerational congruence in attitudes about partnership (e.g., marriage, cohabitation, divorce, women's and men's family roles) decreases after young adults have left the parental home and increases when young adults enter parenthood. Congruence concerning intergenerational obligations was not related to young adults' life course stage.

Key Words: family roles, intergenerational attitude congruence, life course theory, life events and transitions, structural equation modeling, youth or emergent adulthood.

In the present study, we examined the degree of congruence between the attitudes of parents and those of their young adult children in two domains of family life: intergenerational relations and intimate partner relationships. Attitudes toward intergenerational relations or intergenerational obligations refer to beliefs about solidarity within the extended family and include filial obligations and parental obligations. Attitudes regarding intimate partner relationships refer to beliefs about romantic relations and nuclear family configurations; they include attitudes toward alternative living arrangements and attitudes toward roles for men and women in marriage and cohabitation.

Most prior research has shown a substantial degree of parent-child attitude congruence (Acock & Bengtson, 1978; Glass, Bengtson, & Dunham, 1986; Miller & Glass, 1989; Styskal & Sullivan, 1975; Vollebergh, Iedema, & Raaijmakers, 2001). Because it provides continuity within families as well as between different generations in society, intergenerational attitude congruence or agreement is recognized as an important aspect of intergenerational solidarity (Bengtson & Roberts, 1991) and as a source of societal stability (Miller & Glass). Furthermore, congruence between adult children and their parents regarding family-related attitudes is indicative of the fulfillment of caregiving responsibilities within the family. Explanations for correspondence between the worldviews of children and those of their parents have focused on processes of transmission in which parents and children directly influence each other's attitudes (Miller & Glass; Vollebergh et al.). Also, indirect types of congruence have been identified: Education and religiosity are transmitted from parents to children, leading to attitude congruence as a by-product (Glass et al.).

Our study contributes to the existing literature on intergenerational congruence in two ways. First, most research on intergenerational congruence has focused on political and religious attitudes (e.g., Acock & Bengtson, 1978; Miller & Glass, 1989; Styskal & Sullivan, 1975; Vollebergh et al., 2001); research on attitude congruence regarding family issues is relatively scarce, with some notable exceptions (De Vries, Kalmijn, & Liefbroer, 2009; Glass et al., 1986; Mangen & Westbrook, 1988). Also, it is unclear to what extent direct and indirect types of intergenerational congruence and transmission apply to family-related attitudes. Therefore, the first aim of this study is to examine direct and indirect types of intergenerational congruence concerning family-related issues.

Second, although it is popularly believed that adolescents and young adults distance themselves from their parents and develop radically different opinions, research has shown a considerable degree of attitude congruence between parents and their children in these phases of the family life course (Acock & Bengtson, 1978; Glass et al. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Life Course Stage in Young Adulthood and Intergenerational Congruence in Family Attitudes
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.