Age norms, the timing of family role transitions, and intergenerational caregiving among aging African American women.
This article reports findings from two exploratory qualitative studies of the relationship between age norms, family role transitions, and the caregiving responsibilities of mothers, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers in multigeneration African American families. Families defined as having "normative on-time" transitions (n = 23) to the roles of mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother were compared to families that were classified as having "early non-normative" (n = 18), and "early normative" transitions to the respective roles (n = 20). Results indicate that both the "on-time" and "early" normative transition families had an equitable distribution of caregiving duties for women across generations. In families where the transitions to mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother were considered "early" non-normative, the responsibilities for family caregiving were centered in the young great-grandparent generation. The implications of these findings for future research are discussed.
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