AuthorGross, Patricia Ellen.
Committee ChairIams, Donna R.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe purpose of this research was to investigate the factors which motivate an adult child to provide care to an aging dependent parent and to generate a substantive theory concerning the motivation for filial caregiving behavior. This was accomplished through in-depth, unstructured interviews with 12 adult daughters who were self-identified as primary caregivers to dependent elderly mothers and/or fathers. This research has generated a substantive theory called Positioning. Positioning describes the process through which mutually satisfying outcomes regarding the dependency needs of aging parents is achieved. Education, Preparation, Reciprocation, and Habitation are the four stages of Positioning. Education describes the mechanism through which appropriate outcomes regarding the desired status of aging dependent parents can be communicated. This is achieved through family caregiving tradition or an attitude of intergenerational responsibility. Preparation is the second stage of Positioning and is marked by parental assignment of responsibility and filial endorsement or denial of that assignment. During this phase of the process, children develop the competence to assume liability for the well-being of the parents in the future. Reciprocation refers to the debt of gratitude children feel they owe to their parents for the perception of parental sacrifice beyond the expectation of parental duty. Habitation refers to the stage in which parents and/or children "position" themselves physically to facilitate or inhibit the discharge of filial caregiving responsibilities. Intervening conditions have also been identified which moderate caregiving activities. These conditions are Family Support and Compatibility. A theoretical model of adult child caregiving is proposed and implications for future research are discussed.
Degree ProgramFamily and Consumer Resources