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Aging mother-adult daughter relationship solidarity, conflict, ambivalence, typology and variations in time

Mottram (Alıçlı), Sanem
Using qualitative analysis, this thesis analyzes intergenerational support, conflict, and ambivalence between aging mothers and their middle aged adult daughters. In-depth interviews with 30 mother-daughter pairs explored respondents̕ relationship history, changes in the relationship over the life course (childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, marriage of daughter, parenthood of daughter, widowhood of mother), social network composition, frequency of contact, expectations, type and frequency of intergenerational support, intimacy, compliance, conflict or disagreement, and comparison of self with the other party in terms of parenting styles and filial behaviors. Moreover, similarities and differences in the personalities of mother-daughter dyads were investigated from both mothers and daughters perspective. Participants reported that, there is an ample amount of intergenerational support between aging mothers and their adult daughters. Conflicts between mother-daughter pairs arise from interference, irritating personality traits and behaviors and differing views. Daughters experience more ambivalent feelings than mothers in their relationship. Both parties employ passive and secondary relationship maintenance tactics with the goal of preserving relationship harmony. Three distinct types of mother-daughter relationship emerged: close/peaceful, ambivalent and distant. Mother-daughter relationships have undergone transformations with life stages: daughters̕ marriage, daughters̕ parenthood, mothers̕ aging and declining health and mothers̕ widowhood. Effects of certain historical events and social changes emerged from the study. The research findings were discussed with reference to Turkish cultural characteristics and they were compared with Western research findings.