Letting Go: Relationships Between Adults and Their Parents

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Oxford University Press, 1994 - Adult children - 223 pages
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In this ground-breaking study David de Vaus draws together the evidence of some remarkably candid and often moving interviews and the work of a number of sociologists to illuminate a neglected subject - adults' relationships with their parents. As the many interviews attest, parental influenceextends far beyond adolescence and can be the source of continuing pain and conflict. Some adults remain tied to their parents by the need to win approval and acceptance; equally, parents can continue to depend on their children to provide a meaning and purpose for their lives. Thus for many people'letting go' is a continuing challenge throughout their adult years. Inter-generational relationships can assume different forms, from smothering love to a warm and satisfying engagement of independent individuals. David de Vaus explores these different patterns, allowing his interviewees to speakfor themselves, and then asks how they are affected by gender, social and geographical mobility, or by life-stage changes. Highly readable and amusing in places, Letting Go is a book full of sensitivity and good sense, dealing with a subject of universal interest.

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Childcentred parents
Remote parents
Attached parents

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About the author (1994)

David de Vaus is Associate Professor of Sociology at La Trobe University.

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