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The Parental Experience in Midlife

Most adults experience parenthood. But the longest period of the parental experience—when children grow into adolescence and young adulthood and parents themselves are not yet elderly—is the least understood. In this groundbreaking volume, distinguished scholars from anthropology, demography, economics, psychology, social work, and sociology explore the uncharted years of midlife parenthood. The authors employ a rich array of theory and methods to address how the parental experience affects the health, well-being, and development of individuals. Collectively, they look at the time when parents watch offspring grow into adulthood and begin to establish adult-to-adult relationships with their children.

With a strong emphasis on the diversity of midlife parenting, including sociodemographic variations and specific parent or child characteristics such as single parenting or raising a child with a disability, this volume presents for the first time the complex factors that influence the quality of the midlife parenting experience.

Table of Contents

1: The Uncharted Years of Midlife Parenting
Carol D. Ryff, Marsha Mailick Seltzer.
2: Social Demographic Diversity among American Midlife Parents
Nadine F. Marks
3: The Economic Vulnerability of Midlife Single Parents
Daniel R. Meyer
4: Parental Socialization in Historical Perspective
Duane F. Alwin
5: Social and Historical Influences on Parent-Child Relations in Midlife
Michael E. J. Wadsworth
6: Parents’ Well-Being at Their Children’s Transition to Adolescence
Susan B. Silverberg
7: Reproductive Transitions: The Experience of Mothers and Daughters
Julia A. Graber, Jeanne Brooks-Gunn.
8: Mothers’ Parental Efficacy at Midlife in a Black and Latina Sample: Effects of Adolescent Change across a School Transition
LaRue Allen, J. Lawrence Aber, Edward Seidman, Jill Denner, Christina Mitchell.
9: The Prediction of Parental Psychological Functioning: Influences of African American Adolescent Perceptions and Experiences of Context
Margaret Beale Spencer, Dena Phillips Swanson, Alvin Glymph.
10: How Children Turn Out: Implications for Parental Self-Evaluation
Carol D. Ryff, Pamela S. Schmutte, Young Hyun Lee.
11: The Returning Adult Child and Parental Experience at Midlife
William S. Aquilino
12: Midlife and Later-Life Parenting of Adult Children with Mental Retardation
Marsha Mailick Seltzer, Marty Wyngaarden Krauss, Seung Chol Choi, Jinkuk Hong.
13: Demographic Position and Stressful Midlife Events: Effects on the Quality of Parent-Child Relationships
Debra Umberson
14: Midlife: The Prime of Fathers
Corinne N. Nydegger, Linda S. Mitteness.
15: Child Life Events, Parent-Child Disagreements, and Parent Well-Being: Model Development and Testing
Rachel A. Pruchno, Norah D. Peters, Christopher J. Burant.
16: Looking Back and Looking Ahead: Life-Course Unfolding of Parenthood
Rosemary Blieszner, Jay A. Mancini, Lydia I. Marek.
17: The Parental Experience in Midlife: Past, Present, and Future
Marsha Mailick Seltzer, Carol D. Ryff.

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