Culture Post: Adult Children 4 Times More Likely to be Estranged From Their Dad Than Their Mom

The following is excerpted from an online article posted by MedicalXpress.

Adult children are much more likely to have issues with their fathers than they are with their mothers, according to new research.

A team from The Ohio State University found that only six percent of adult children reported any levels of estrangement from their mothers during a long-term study of family relationships. In comparison, more than one in four (26%) said they were estranged from their fathers at some point in time.

Although this can be a difficult time for many, researchers also note that the estrangement doesn’t last forever in most cases. Over four in five cases of estrangement (81%) between mothers and their children end at some point. Two in three cases (69%) between fathers and children also end eventually.

“One of the messages from this study is that estrangement between adult children and their parents is fairly common, especially with fathers,” says lead author and professor of sociology Rin Reczek in a university release. “But these estrangements tend to end eventually.”

The team collected this data from two major surveys, one being the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979. This poll followed a nationally representative sample of men and women who were 14 to 22 years-old in 1979. Researchers interviewed the parents regularly until 2018. They compared this information on parents with a sample of their children, who participated in the Child and Young Adult supplement of the 1979 NLSY survey.

Daughters were 22 percent more likely to be estranged from their fathers than sons were. Meanwhile, they were less likely than adult sons to have a poor relationship with their mothers.

The results are published in the Journal of Marriage and Family.

Source: StudyFinds

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[reposted by] Jim Liebelt

Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for HomeWord. Jim has 40 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, having served over the years as a pastor, author, consultant, mentor, trainer, college instructor, and speaker. Jim’s HomeWord culture blog also appears on and Jim and his wife Jenny live in Quincy, MA.

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