The experiences of older mothers following the return of an adult child home

Yehudit Schwarts, Liat Ayalon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Context: The present study examines the experience of co-residence of older mothers with their adult children who have returned home, as seen from the mothers' perspective. Methods: The population of the study consisted of 14 women between the ages of 58 and 74, whose sons and daughters aged 30 to 40 had come to live with them. The study is a qualitative one, conducted on the basis of in-depth, semi-structured interviews with the mothers. The data were analyzed using constant comparisons. Findings: The analysis of the interviews yielded four main themes: a) the mother's perception of the parental role; b) the mother's perception of the returning son or daughter; c) the mother's perception of living together with the adult child; and d) the emotional ramifications arising from co-residence. The differences among the mothers interviewed allowed for the distinction of three types: (1) the mother as rescuer (2) the ambivalent mother and (3) the involved mother. Implications: The study sheds light on this late stage of the mother-child relationship, points to the complexity of the phenomenon, and offers insights for professionals working with clients in such situations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-57
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Aging Studies
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Inc.


  • Interdependence
  • Intergenerational relations
  • Social exchange
  • Solidarity


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