Presentation Title

Intergenerational Ambivalence of Adult Children Who Provide Care for their Aging Parents: Suggestion for Christian Faith Based Educational Programs

Faculty Mentor

Noriko Toyokawa

Start Date

23-11-2019 8:45 AM

End Date

23-11-2019 9:30 AM

Location

38

Session

poster 2

Type of Presentation

Poster

Subject Area

behavioral_social_sciences

Abstract

Ambivalence refers to a contradictory emotion of love and hate toward the same relational object (Freud, 1913). Intergenerational ambivalence refers to an intensified level of ambivalence occurring in a parent-child relationship when adult children increase their needs for intervening into parents’ autonomy in order to provide living assistance to their aging parents (Lusher & Pillmer, 2004). Adult children’s care-giving related intergenerational ambivalence predicts a variety of their physical and emotional health risks (Birditt, Fingerman, & Zarit, 2010). The literature shows that family caregiver’s spiritual coping methods reduce the effect of actual caregiving workload in terms of depressive symptoms (Saffari, Koening, O’Garo, & Pakpour, 2018). Despite the recognition of positive effects of faith-based stress management, little is known about the situations that increase intergenerational ambivalence in adult children and how their intergenerational ambivalence is impacted by religious coping mechanisms. The current study examined adult children’s Christian faith-based coping experiences while they felt greater levels of intergenerational ambivalence. Participants of focus groups were caregivers to their aging parents who were recruited from three local churches (N=16, Mage=53, SD=6.1) in San Diego county. Through directed content analysis (Hsieh & Shannon, 2005), three situations in which participants experienced challenges to communicate with their parents and sensed intensified ambivalent emotions toward their parents were analyzed. Differences in interpretation of faith between parents and children, dilemma between empathy with parents and caregiving role, and embarrassment of open discussion on taboo topics tended to increase adult children’s challenges in regards to providing care through a Christian faith-based context. Based on the findings, church-based educational programs that promote parent-child open communication in order to reduce adult children’s caregiving burden and optimize their emotional experiences in later life will be suggested.

Keywords: Ambivalent emotions, parent-child relations, caregiving stress, faith-based coping, religious coping mechanism

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Nov 23rd, 8:45 AM Nov 23rd, 9:30 AM

Intergenerational Ambivalence of Adult Children Who Provide Care for their Aging Parents: Suggestion for Christian Faith Based Educational Programs

38

Ambivalence refers to a contradictory emotion of love and hate toward the same relational object (Freud, 1913). Intergenerational ambivalence refers to an intensified level of ambivalence occurring in a parent-child relationship when adult children increase their needs for intervening into parents’ autonomy in order to provide living assistance to their aging parents (Lusher & Pillmer, 2004). Adult children’s care-giving related intergenerational ambivalence predicts a variety of their physical and emotional health risks (Birditt, Fingerman, & Zarit, 2010). The literature shows that family caregiver’s spiritual coping methods reduce the effect of actual caregiving workload in terms of depressive symptoms (Saffari, Koening, O’Garo, & Pakpour, 2018). Despite the recognition of positive effects of faith-based stress management, little is known about the situations that increase intergenerational ambivalence in adult children and how their intergenerational ambivalence is impacted by religious coping mechanisms. The current study examined adult children’s Christian faith-based coping experiences while they felt greater levels of intergenerational ambivalence. Participants of focus groups were caregivers to their aging parents who were recruited from three local churches (N=16, Mage=53, SD=6.1) in San Diego county. Through directed content analysis (Hsieh & Shannon, 2005), three situations in which participants experienced challenges to communicate with their parents and sensed intensified ambivalent emotions toward their parents were analyzed. Differences in interpretation of faith between parents and children, dilemma between empathy with parents and caregiving role, and embarrassment of open discussion on taboo topics tended to increase adult children’s challenges in regards to providing care through a Christian faith-based context. Based on the findings, church-based educational programs that promote parent-child open communication in order to reduce adult children’s caregiving burden and optimize their emotional experiences in later life will be suggested.

Keywords: Ambivalent emotions, parent-child relations, caregiving stress, faith-based coping, religious coping mechanism