TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

Community News Network

October 22, 2013

Yes, Mom may like one child best

Despite what they may say, mothers have favorites among their children, and a new study finds that those preferences tend to continue into old age. The authors of the study suggest that doctors, hospital staff and family members need to take those preferences into account when decisions are made about caregiving and other matters for the aging parent.

"There's been a great deal of research done on younger mothers with young children in terms of favoritism," said Jill Suitor, a sociologist at Purdue University and one of the authors of the paper, published in the Journal of Marriage and Family. "It's very common for parents to differentiate between their children" with regard to punishment and feelings of closeness, she said.

Researchers know less about favoritism among older parents, however, so Suitor and her colleagues began a survey of several hundred families 15 years ago. They found that older parents also tend to favor some children over others. "If anything, perhaps it becomes more common," Suitor said. "It certainly doesn't become less common."

As part of their survey, the group asked women between ages 65 and 75 about their relationships with their children. About two-thirds said they were closer emotionally to one of their children than another, feelings that generally persisted seven years later when the researchers surveyed the women again.

At that point, four-fifths of mothers said they preferred one of their children as a caregiver. Mothers tended to prefer the child whom they saw as sharing their values and their perspective on the world, the group found.

In previous studies, Suitor and her colleagues have documented the negative consequences for elderly people when they can't be near the child they trust most, consequences that included an increased likelihood of depression following an illness or an injury.

There are also serious emotional consequences for adult children who feel excluded. Suitor hopes her group's work can help them cope with those feelings by recognizing that favoritism is normal.

She also said that when adult children are asked to name the sibling to whom their mother feels closest, they are correct less than half the time, so some of that sense of exclusion may be baseless.

              

1
Text Only
Community News Network
Front page
NDN Video
Under Armour Launches Biggest Women's Campaign with Inspiring Ad NYPD chokehold death of Eric Garner was homicide: medical examiner Christina Aguilera Pulls a Demi Moore! Man with no arms throws first pitch Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement Is Justin Bieber Dating a Model? Guardians of the Galaxy (Trailer) 'Sharknado 2:' Hottest Memes Surfing The Net Snoop Dogg Narrating Animal Footage Is Perfect Raw: Obama Gets Hug From Special Olympian Recapping a Blockbuster MLB Trade Deadline Tigers Acquire David Price - @TheBuzzeronFOX Russell Brand Slams Sean Hannity Over Gaza Conflict Segment Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Brian Williams Reports on Daughter Allison Williams' 'Peter Pan' Casting News Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2"
AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Facebook