Merril Silverstein and Roseann Giarrusso

Published: 2019-12-20 08:00:00
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This article provides an overview and a critical evaluation on major empirical, theoretical, and conceptual directions that have been adopted by studies on the aging families in the 21st century. The main themes covered include; diversity in the family structures and the household setups, complexity on emotional relations, the interdependence that exists in the family roles and functions the final theme is on the patterns and the results from caregiving. Research that have been conducted in the past have provided advanced theories through applications of comprehensive statistical techniques. However, most of the literature has failed to fully represent the diversity in different populations as well as applying the broadest methodological tools. The article seeks to discuss these key scholarly areas regarding the age of the baby boomers and the family setups.

The article seeks to harmonize all the aging families holistically. Therefore, the empirical measures and research have been segmented in types of relationships mostly affiliated between the parents and the grown up children, the grandparents and their grandchildren, the husbands, wives, and siblings. The research in this article was based on publications that followed scholarly and complementary strategies where data collected was mainly based on Abstracts in Social Gerontology and Family Studies Abstracts derived from the EBSCO search engine.

The article has provided a summary and a critical evaluation of empirical literature that has led to the establishment and advancement of studies related to aging families over the past two decades. The publication has mostly relied on research journals and articles that were published on a top-tier family basis as well as gerontological based journals. The review is organized in accordance with the four earlier mentioned thematic structures that establish concern on different older family relationships. The main focus is on the substantive issues and the gaps covered while reviewing the limitations and the progress of the methodological and theoretical orientations that substantiate the literature.

The methodology used in deriving conclusions and assumptions has been derived via advanced statistical techniques that broadened the quantitative tools available. The research analysis and tools application allowed for longitudinal and hierarchical procedures to help sort the complex data sets. The growth-curve modeling application enabled an efficient analysis of the trajectories that propel family relationships in long time periods. The research advocates for qualitative data analysis on the given thesis since it is the best possible tool that can identify the cultural frames used between the elderly and their relatives in the negotiation on the gap that exists between the behaviors, expectations, tensions, as well as support depending on the autonomy that governs the ideologies. The argument is that qualitative research is better than quantitative analysis as this tends to provide large and complex data sets that fail to be specific on the important issues.

The research reflects as beneficial since it has covered broad themes that entail the diverse attributes of family relationships. There are no many adjustments that would be made to the article since it meets its specified criterion. The research provides a basis for future analysis of the outcomes of the baby boomers generation on aspects such as if there is high rates of divorce, childlessness, and re-marriage.

A Review of Research on Aging Families: Emerging Issues

By

Zheng Wu

This article has shifted the focus of the demographic shifts in the aging population among other factors such as increment in immigration as well as growth in ethnocultural diversity in Canada. However, the main concern is on deriving a better understanding of the needs of aging in families. The research was based on previously peer-reviewed journals while the literature was assessed on the basis of four major themes; family relationships over time, the structural diversity existent in aging families, intergenerational transfers and caregiving, eventuality in partnerships over time, and the living arrangements existent in aging families.

The article has very specific and predominant concerns highlighted under the literature review. The structural diversity in the aging families has reflected that the commonly idealized concept of a nuclear family is no longer the basic structure when it comes to the aging families. This does not only reflect the fact that families have continually been breaking up, but childlessness has become a common phenomenon in most European countries and USA. Another aspect that has been highlighted to be of major concern as the manner in which partnerships result in later life where there exist complexity and diversity. Gerontologists have implicated these traits to the aging families while assigning themes to enhance the study on partnerships in later lives. The living arrangement on the aging families has been categorized only to be analyzed under aspects of family transitions and the consequences that arise from the need of well-being by individuals. The article has categorized living arrangements as remnants of broader social transformations and cultural integration.

The article provides that there are still more gaps under empirical analysis that needs further investigation in future research. Structural diversity in the aging families face continued diverse living arrangements; there is death that affects individual's well-being thus the need to collect more data to test the different hypothesis as well as evaluate the effects on familys structures. The family structures are changing over time and therefore the need to leave room for future research necessary to evaluate the growing diversity and complexity.

The research was conducted entirely on qualitative data from previous journals but however provided sufficient arguments on the issues arising from the aging families. Further research on the living arrangements through research needs to be conducted whereby immigration may increase in the future or even decline due to the introduction of new policies that limit the same.

Compare and Contrast

The two articles reflect a comprehensive aspect of data extensiveness whereby several peer-reviewed journals have been put in place. This means that qualitative data was put into use to come up with the findings stipulated in each of the articles. The articles have both thematic similarities in some of the aspects analyzed where caregiving and the patterns governing family issues have occurred in both the articles. The theme on the complexity of the emotional relations has been reflected in both articles to reflect the measures that determine the issues that have been concurrent in modern aging family issues. The other common theme discussed in both articles is that of childlessness whereby the articles have derived conclusions that the event of the aging families being childless is a common attribute and has provided a significant change in the structures of families through aspects such as intergenerational lineages.

The major difference that seemed to dominate between the two articles was the proposed mode of empirical research. The research by Zheng Wu suggested that the data was collected on purely a qualitative manner whereby it was based on previous peer-reviewed journals. This is a limitation as it limits the expansive and conclusive derivations on the findings whereas the article by Merril Silverstein and Roseann Giarrusso entailed a quantitative and qualitative empirical analysis that provides a clear platform for the direction of future and further research purposes.

References

Wu, Zheng, and Sean Browning. 2015. "A Review of Research on Aging Families: Emerging Issues." Population Change and Lifecourse Strategic Knowledge Cluster Discussion Paper Series/Un Reseau strategique de connaissances Changements de population et parcours de vie Document de travail 3(1): 2.

Silverstein, Merril, and Roseann Giarrusso. 2010. "Aging and family life: A decade review." Journal of marriage and family 72(5): 1039-1058.

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