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Views and experiences of adult children concerning intergenerational relationships with their older kin: a qualitative study from South India

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Document pages: 20 pages

Abstract: The tradition of intergenerational care and support exchanges in Indian families is assumed to be disturbed because of changes in family structure brought on by modern life, which is mainly based on studies investigating experiences of older adults regarding the impact of socio-economic change on their care arrangement. However, there is a large gap in understanding the experiences of adult children from a larger relational perspective, more than just care provision to their older relatives. Drawing on 26 in-depth interviews with adult children living in modern and traditional living arrangements from South India, the study explores their experiences with their parents with regard to reciprocity of care and support, the challenges they experience and strategies they adopt to overcome those challenges. The analysis shows adult children perceive the increased demands of modern work life and their older kin s preferences to be heard, lack of flexibility and related extra domestic work and costs, do cause a bigger burden for them in both living arrangements. However, adult children strive to uphold the traditional values of caring for their older kin and sharing emotional bonding with them. This inspiration helps them to employ strategies to accept their older relatives as they are, focus their attention on the benefits they receive from them and distribute care tasks with other relatives to overcome the challenges.

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