Life Interrupted: Parents' Positivity and Negativity Toward Children Following Children's and Parents' Transitions Later in Life. By: Hammersmith, Anna M. Gerontologist. Jun2019, Vol. 59 Issue 3, p519-527. 9p. 3 Charts.

Parents’ and children’s lives are interwoven over the life course. Parents’ positivity and negativity toward children relate to children’s and parents’ transitions, although the nature of this relationship is unclear. This study investigated the extent to which transitions—like those tied to residence, unions, employment, parenthood, and health—related to parents’ positivity and negativity. This study used the Health and Retirement Study’s Psychosocial Survey from 2006 and 2010 to examine how parents’ and children’s transitions related to parents’ positivity and negativity toward children. Children’s residential independence, parents’ return to employment, and widowhood increased parents’ positivity. Parents’ negativity was higher when children moved home or lost employment, while negativity was lower when any child divorced and following the parent’s divorce. The analyses also revealed children’s transitions—moving in and employment loss—mattered more than the parent’s own divorce for negativity. Children’s transitions indicating parenting success or children’s support needs—like residential, employment, and union transitions—linked to parents’ positivity and negativity toward children. Parents’ transitions related to positivity and negativity were also likely related to support and strength of ties between parents and children. Moreover, children’s transitions matter more than parental divorce when considering negativity, although dependent on child’s transition type. This study has implications for older adults, especially as parents’ feelings toward children are indicative of late-life well-being and potential support avenues.