In this essay I review recent studies of adult child–parent relationships, with an emphasis on studies using nationally representative samples. Adult children and their parents have frequent contact and emotionally satisfying relationships, but exchanges of practical and financial assistance are uncommon. Continuing relationships between adult children and their parents depend on women's work as kinkeepers. Parental divorce greatly weakens adult children's relationships with their fathers and also tends to weaken relationships with mothers. Adult child–parent relationships are not stronger in black families than in white families. The most pressing need for future research is the development of new theoretical formulations.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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