Adult daughters’ emotional response to COVID-19: the role of worry, solidarity, conflict, and ambivalence in the relationship with the mother

Dikla Segel-Karpas, Liat Ayalon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: Older adults’ greater susceptibility to mortality from COVID-19 may have meaningful psychological implications not only for them, but also for their children. In this study, we focused on daughters of older women and examined the intergenerational relationships as a correlate of daughters’ anxiety, depressive symptoms, and psychosomatic complaints. Method: Data were collected from 456 daughters of older mothers (M(age) = 40.82) during the first wave of the COVID-19 outbreak in Israel, when a relatively strict lockdown was enforced, separating mothers and daughters. Results: Findings suggest that while mothers’ objective risk factors (age and morbidity) were mostly not associated with their daughters’ distress, the daughters’ concern about their mothers, and their perceived ambivalence in the relationship with the mother, as well as structural and affectual solidarity, were. Conclusion: We conclude that the mother-daughter relationship is an important correlate of daughters’ reactions to this health crisis. Practically, it suggests that some daughters to aging mothers could be at a greater risk for emotional distress following the COVID-19 outbreak.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)578-585
Number of pages8
JournalAging and Mental Health
Volume26
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • depressive symptoms
  • intergenerational relationships
  • older mothers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Gerontology
  • Psychiatric Mental Health

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