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Tensions among siblings in parent care.


ABSTRACT: From a place of "genealogical equivalence" as children of their parents, siblings spend a lifetime developing separate identities. As parents near the end of their lives, issues of sibling equivalence are renegotiated in the face of equal obligations to provide care and equal entitlement to parent assets. In this paper, we hypothesize how unresolved issues of rivalry for parent affection/attention among siblings may be reasserted when parents need care. Data are drawn from a project about how parent care and assets are shared. In-depth interviews with three sibling groups experiencing conflict over sharing parent care and assets along with six Canadian legal case portrayals of disputes among siblings over how parent care and assets were shared are examined. Findings are that disputes occur when siblings perceive others as dominating parent care and assets through tactics such as separating the parent from other siblings and preventing other siblings from being engaged in decisions about care and assets. Discussion is focused on paradoxes faced by siblings given expectations for equity in parent relationships alongside perceived pre-eminence in care and asset decisions.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC5547296 | BioStudies | 2009-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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