Aging and family life: A decade review

Merril Silverstein, Roseann Giarrusso

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

296 Scopus citations


In this review, we summarize and critically evaluate the major empirical, conceptual, and theoretical directions that studies of aging families have taken during the first decade of the 21st century. The field has benefited from an expanded perspective based on four overarching themes: (a) complexity in emotional relations, (b) diversity in family structures and households, (c) interdependence of family roles and functions, and (d) patterns and outcomes of caregiving. Although research on aging families has advanced theory and applied innovative statistical techniques, the literature has fallen short in fully representing diverse populations and in applying the broadest set of methodological tools available. We discuss these and other frontier areas of scholarship in light of the aging of baby boomers and their families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1039-1058
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Marriage and Family
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging families
  • Caregiving
  • Intergenerational relations
  • Marriage
  • Siblings
  • Widowhood

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Aging and family life: A decade review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this