Adult daughter aging mother relationship over the life cycle: The Turkish case

Mottram S., Hortacsu N.

JOURNAL OF AGING STUDIES, vol.19, no.4, pp.471-488, 2005 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 19 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2005
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.jaging.2005.05.001
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.471-488
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: No


Effects of mothers and daughters life cycle changes on mother-daughter relationships in the present study. The life cycle transitions focused on in this study are daughters' marriage and parenthood and mothers' widowhood and declining health. In-depth interviews were conducted with thirty Turkish adult daughter-aging mother pairs. Analyses of interviews with mothers and daughters revealed that age related changes reported by Turkish mothers and daughters were similar to those reported by western participants. Mother-daughter relationships were transformed when daughters got married, had children, and when mothers became widows. Relationships generally improved over the life cycle. Shared sense of femaleness increased and was reinforced by daughters' experience of wife and mother roles and resulted in greater empathy for mothers. Mothers' widowhood and declining health were associated with role reversal. Certain culture specific themes emerged. These were transfer of the responsibility for the daughter's honor from the family to the husband, stress on filial obligations, view of care giving and care taking as cyclic over the life cycle, explanations of conflicts by external norms and/or circumstances, association of women with places and/or relationships. Ambivalence voiced by daughters was interpreted as renegotiation of roles within a society in transition from traditional to more individualist norms. (c) 2005 Published by Elsevier Inc.