Study Reveals Older Parents Still Worry And Lose Sleep Over Their Adult Children

Parents worrying about their children is a fact of life. Now, a new study has confirmed that worrying does not stop even when a person’s kids have grown up.

The study found that older parents still worry about their adult children with nearly exactly the same amount of stress as they did when their kids were young. The study was led by top gerontologist Amber J. Seidl, Ph.D., from Penn State York, who said that a person’s family continues to play a huge role even in the later parts of life.

“I feel that many share this value, yet I think much of the socialization in our culture focuses on the family when children are younger,” she explained. “I seek to study topics that help us understand how family continues to be a central part of our lives throughout adulthood, and I encourage considering family-level influences in all situations.”

The study looked at 186 heterosexual married couples who had on average two or three children who were grown up. The men who were looked at had an average age of 58 years, while the women were at an average of 57 years. Those taking part in the study were asked to rate the degree of support they provided their grown children on a scale of 1 to 8, with 1 being the highest amount of support and 8 being the lowest amount of support, which could be as little as once a year.

After looking at the results, the researchers found that there was a clear correlation between their anxiety or worry over their adult children and their own sleep quality.

“Current research on young adults suggests that parents and children are maintaining high levels of involvement,” Seidel said. “Although parents and adult children have always maintained some level of involvement, we do see an increase in what is often termed ‘helicopter parenting’ and ‘landing pad’ children.”

She added that the advent of smartphones and social media have only added to the stress, as parents can now actually see what their children are going through when they are not with them, giving them more reasons to worry.

Find out more about this revealing study in the video below.


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