- Parents' Death and Adult Well-being: Gender, Age, and Adaptation to Filial Bereavement
- Journal of Marriage and the Family
- Volume | Issue number
- 77 | 3
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
The authors investigated how filial bereavement affects the subjective well-being of adult children. They used data from the German Socio-Economic Panel Study to examine temporal profiles of life satisfaction in 2,760 adult children ages 17-70 who moved through the stages of anticipation of, reaction to, and adaptation to a parent's death. Fixed effects models covering up to 11 yearly measurements per respondent revealed that the negative effects of parental loss on life satisfaction varied substantially by gender and age. First, daughters who lost their mothers experienced the deepest drops in life satisfaction. Second, negative effects were stronger if filial bereavement was "off time": children who lost a parent in younger adulthood experienced steeper declines in life satisfaction. Daughters who are untimely bereaved of their mothers did not fully adapt even several years after the death.
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