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Associations between quality of relationships and life satisfaction of older mothers in Estonia, Germany, Russia and China

Journal article
Authors Jing Wu
Kairi Kasearu
Airi Värnik
Liina-Mai Tooding
Gisela Trommsdorff
Published in Ageing & Society
Volume 36
Issue 06
Pages 1272-1294
ISSN 0144-686X
Publication year 2016
Published at
Pages 1272-1294
Language en
Keywords quality of relationship, satisfaction with family life, life satisfaction, culture, Family Change Theory, Structural Equation Modelling
Subject categories Social Psychology, Older people and ageing


The aim of the current study is to examine the associations between the quality of relationships and life satisfaction of older mothers in Estonia, Germany, Russia and the People's Republic of China, based on the assumptions of the Family Change Theory. The role of satisfaction with family life as the probable mediating factor is considered. Estonian older mothers reported the least admiration and intimacy in their relationships with their adult daughters, and the least satisfaction with family life compared to German, Russian and Chinese mothers. German older mothers perceived the most admiration from their adult daughters and were the most satisfied with both their family and general life. Russian older mothers were the least satisfied with their general life compared to their counterparts in Estonia, Germany and China. The results from the Structural Equation Modelling showed that the relationship between satisfaction with family life and general life satisfaction was statistically significant in all countries except Russia. The satisfaction with family life as a mediating factor might strengthen the positive and negative aspects of intergenerational relationships on the life satisfaction of older mothers. The findings indicated that the emotional closeness and intergenerational relationships in families during the process of transition and globalisation play an important role in the life satisfaction of older mothers in these four countries.

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