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Aging Families

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Amanda Ross Sociology of the Family 11-13-01 Aging and Family Structures Aging Families The affects of aging on the family structure are complex and vary throughout many aspects. There are different stages in which people pass through life according to society. Within the family, human development stages follow a social and cultural script. These stages are accompanied by different types of interactions and roles that characterize the cycle. The periods not only vary culturally and individually, but also have tended to vary over time. With the changes that have occurred over time, people are living longer and this had redefined the way families interact. Simple changes in mortality have major affects on family life. There are stronger bonds between parents and children, longer time span for marriages and parenting, becoming a grandparent has become an expected event, and there are more grandparents that children already know. The declining mortality rate also has declines the number of orphans in orphanages. ...read more.


Now children stay at home, at least until they reach eighteen. Childhood is a more social invention that blossomed from the new ideas about children (little angels), child-rearing practices, and the new prolonged life of children. Children go through a transition stage called puberty or adolescence. This is not only a shift in a child's physical structure, but also social structure. They have new responsibilities and are now part of the sexual and social market. Educational and economic systems (work) aided to set the age for adolescence and criteria for adolescence. This is a highly emotional time for young people and they are confused about where they fit in, maybe somewhere in the middle, but that is a confusing place to be. It does not help when society tends to blame the youth for crime and societal problems. Adulthood seems to be being reached at later and later times. With young adults increasing attendance at secondary school and universities, the usual determinate of adulthood, forty- hour workweek, marriage, and children, are being postponed longer and longer. ...read more.


Many more people are living long enough to become health grandparents and enjoy their new families. They have easier access to their larger families through improved communication. They have more time to spend with their grandchildren with retirement options and more money to spend on them. They are much less likely to be raising their own children. I believe that there are many factors that lead to the now accepted transitions within family structure. That maybe the lines that are drawn in the ages cannot be applied to every family or individual. The structural cycles may be a bit more hazy than described. With society in a now seemingly state of change, the family structure also seems to be in a state of flux, which could attribute to the confusion and seemingly heightened rebellion. The cycle might be better grasped if they weren't rigidly defined and maybe better understood by individuals to lesson some of the psychological blows. It will be interesting to watch the upcoming changes, hopefully within my lifetime. ?? ?? ?? ?? Ross 1 ...read more.

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