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Family Ties and Aging
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Family Ties and Aging

Third Edition


October 2018 | 520 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Providing an integrated and thorough representation of what we know from current research and contemporary society, Family Ties and Aging 3e is the only book that shows how pressing issues of our time—an aging population, changing family structures, and new patterns of work-family balance—are negotiated in the family lives of middle-aged and older adults.

Focusing on such key questions as "How do current trends and social arrangements affect family relationships?" and "What are the implications of what we know for future research, theory, practice, and policy?" author Ingrid Arnet Connidis explores groups and relationships that typically receive short shrift, including single, divorced, and childless older people and their family relationships, as well as sibling relationships among the elderly, live-in partnerships not formalized by marriage, and the kinds of family ties forged by gay and lesbian individuals over the life course. The Third Edition is thoroughly updated to include the latest research and theoretical developments, recent media coverage of related issues, and new information on intimate relationships in later life, gay and lesbian partnerships, sibling ties, and elder neglect/abuse.

 
Part I. Introduction and Overview
 
1. Older Persons in a Family Context
The Relevance of Studying Family Relationships in Older Age  
The Place of Older People in Families of the Past and Present  
Theoretical Orientations  
Underlying Assumptions  
Dimensions of Family Ties and Plan of the Book  
Thinking Ahead  
 
2. The Availability of Family Ties in Later Life
Demographic Trends and Family Structure  
The Availability of a Marital or Intimate Partner  
The Availability of Children  
The Availability of Grandchildren  
The Availability of Siblings  
Living Arrangements in Later Life  
Summary & Conclusion to Part I  
 
Part II. Intimate Ties
 
3. Intimate Ties in Later Life
Defining Intimate Ties  
The Significance of Marital Status  
Sexuality and Aging  
Summary  
 
4. Long-term Intimate Partnerships
Marriage & Same-Sex Unions  
Marriage in Later Life  
Gay and Lesbian Partnerships  
The Impact of Life Transitions on Intimate Ties  
Summary  
 
5. Transitions in Intimate Ties
Widowhood  
Divorce  
Summary  
 
6. Being Single in Later Life
Portrayals of Being Single  
Trends in Singlehood  
The Transition to Being Single  
The Lives of Older Single Persons  
Summary  
 
7. New Opportunities for Intimacy in Later Life
Remarriage  
Cohabitation  
Living Apart Together  
Dating and Steady Companions  
Sexual Intimacy among the Unattached in Later Life  
Summary  
Conclusion to Part II  
 
Part III. Intergenerational Relations
 
8. Exploring Intergenerational Relations
Perspectives on Intergenerational Relations  
Older Parents and Their Adult Children  
 
9. Support Exchanges Between Older Parents and Adult Children
Perspectives on Support Exchanges  
Parental Support to Adult Children  
Child Support to Older Parents  
Summary  
 
10. Childless Older Persons
Transitions to Childlessness  
The Impact of Being Childless on Social Activity and Support in Later Life  
The Impact of Being Childless on Quality of Life in Older Age  
Summary  
 
11. Grandparents and Grandchildren
Availability of and Contact with Grandparents and Grandchildren  
The Nature of Grandparent-Grandchild Relations  
Grandparents Caring for Grandchildren  
Summary  
 
12. Partner Transitions, Step Ties, and Intergenerational Relations
The Impact of Divorce on Ties between Older Parents and their Children  
The Impact of Divorce on Grandparent-Grandchild Ties  
Remarriage, Step Ties, and Intergenerational Relations  
Summary  
Conclusion to Part III  
 
Part IV. Sibling Relationships
 
13. Sibling Ties in Middle and Later Life
Unique Features of Sibling Ties  
Diversity Among Siblings  
Availability of and Contact with Siblings  
The Nature of Sibling Ties in Later Life  
 
14. Life Transitions and Sibling Ties
The Impact of Changes in Marital and Parental Status  
Aunts and Uncles, Nieces and Nephews  
Sharing Caring for Parents  
Support Exchanges Among Older Siblings  
Summary and Conclusion to Part IV  
 
Part V. Research and Policy
 
15. Research and Policy: Issues and Directions
Research Issues  
Social Policy  
Connecting Informal and Formal Support  
Summary and Conclusion to Part V  

This text provides the foundation for discussions...it is valuable for both undergraduate and graduate students. It
offers enough substance for graduate students to use it as a springboard for more in-depth considerations of the topics. It provides
undergraduates with the foundation of information that they can apply to their own lives.

Denise C. Lewis
University of Georgia, Human Development and Family Science

I’ve adopted this book because of its good breadth (combined with good depth, not watered down) of a good variety of topics and
issues. I like the life course and other theoretical perspectives, including the notion of “negotiation” of family
relations, and the attention to how family patterns and relations vary by both age and gender, as well as gay/lesbian relations and other
diversity in family forms.

Russell Ward
University of Albany, SUNY
Survey Monkey

I have not yet seen a book that is better-structured for my course. The main sections seem to appropriately capture the range of key family relationships during each period. 
I believe the book attends to family system-level issues better than others I reviewed. I also build a focus on psychohistorical
perspective into the course and believe this is appropriately addressed in the book.

Randy Leite, Dean, College of Health Sciences and Professions
Ohio University
Survey Monkey

This text is one of the only up-to-date comprehensive texts on this topic that I have found. Comprehensive is probably the key word. All of the major
topics are addressed.

Mary Hart, Professor/Gerontology Program Director
California University of Pennsylvania
Survey Monkey
Key features
  • Weaves the vast range of information about the many facets of family relationships and aging into a critical, comprehensive, and integrated whole
  • Explores a range of intimate relationships, what happens when they end, and pathways to intimacy in old age
  • Emphasizes diversity in terms of gender, age, class, race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation throughout to help readers learn about similarities and differences in family relationships as we age
  • Links the discussion of various family relationships in mid- and later life to current and future directions for research, practice, and policy

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    ISBN: 9781412992862
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