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Demographic Changes Affecting Family Structure, Social Changes Affecting Family Relationships, The Future

Although much has been written about the declining importance of the family as a social institution in American society, family relationships continue to be of critical importance in the lives of older people. In fact, research on life course and the family repeatedly finds that people highly value family relationships throughout all of life, and that family ties significantly affect quality of life. Because family roles are such an important aspect of aging, separate entries in this encyclopedia focus on husband-wife, sibling, parent-child, and grandparent-grandchild relationships in later life. Rather than repeating information in these entries, this discussion focuses on how demographic and social changes are affecting family relationships in old age.

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Medicine EncyclopediaAging Healthy - Part 2