Study: Adult kids puzzled by aging parents

Dec 08, 2005

A study by a Washington University psychologist in St. Louis suggests adult siblings may have vastly differing views on what their aging parents want.

In fact, psychologist Brian Carpenter's study indicates a random stranger might have the same chance at guessing parental wishes as some children would.

Carpenter, an assistant professor of psychology, says there's no clear indicator of which children will be "good" predictors or which will be "bad" predictors of their parent's lifestyle preferences. There is, however, some evidence that children who perceive their relationships as emotionally closer are better, he said.

The study also indicates there is no significant correlation between gender, age or geographical proximity of children and parents as to whether a child is a "good" or "poor" predictor of parental wishes.

Carpenter discussed the nature of his on-going research in the September edition of the American Psychological Association Newsletter.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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