Institute Research Activity Development Programmes
News Gerontology
Anton Trstenjak Institute
Publications / Quality of Old Age Back

VOLUME 9, NUMBER 2, 2006

Geographical Proximity and Contact Frequency between Older Parents and their Adult Children in Germany - Cross-cohort and Longitudinal Perspectives
Andreas Hoff

This article aims to explore change and continuity of two structural aspects of the parent-child-relationship in Germany - geographical proximity and contact frequency - that have a significant impact on the relationship quality as well as the mutual support provision between adult children and their parents. This research makes use of a nationally representative survey of the German population aged 40-85 years - the German Ageing Survey. The paper presents findings from both a cross-cohort and a longitudinal perspective. The vast majority of Germans aged 40 years and older lives in geographical proximity to at least one of their children and to their parents. However, the geographical distance between parents and their adult children increased between 1996-2002. Accordingly, the contact frequency between parents and children decreased - daily interactions became less prevalent. Moreover, a particular birth cohort was found to be characterised by less frequent parent-child-interactions than the neighbouring cohorts - the ‘war time cohort’ of those born between 1939-1944.

Key words: intergenerational relationships, Germany, parent-child-relationship, family relations, demographic change.

Between wisdom and vulnerability: images of the elders on the World Wide Web
Lavra Kreačič

This article analyses the representation of elders on the internet and compares it with the representations of aged people in other types of media (magazines, television, film, etc.). The study depicts the ambivalence within the display of representations of the elderly who are portrayed in terms of wisdom on the one hand and in the terms of vulnerability on the other. Mass media has the authority to construct images of the elderly according to the interest of dominant social groups in our society and present them to general audience as natural representations which are valid per se. However, in view of the fact that Internet as a form of new technology should be more democratic and accessible to all, it should also offer alternative representations of the elderly. The first part of the text observes problems that we come across when we try to define the term ‘age’, it shows the perception of age, it stresses the stereotyping of the elderly and seeks the origin of the ambivalent representation of elders. Furthermore, it also mentiones the question of non-use of the Internet among the aged. The second part of the study analyses a selected set of the practical examples from different media and it concludes with a finding that Internet representations reinforce the pre-existing representations of elders in the society despite the common belief that Internet (as a relatively new technology) should guarantee greater diversity of representations of the elderly on the World Wide Web.

Key words: age, the elderly, images of the elderly, mass media

Socializing as a component of social integration
Urąka Vidovič, Valentina Hlebec

This paper examines socializing as a component in the social integration of the elderly in Slovenia. Two studies, dated 1987 and 2002, were compared using statistical analysis, to reveal the characteristics of companions in both years. In 1987, participation in leisure activities decreased with age. The most frequent obstacles responsible for the decreased participation of the elderly in leisure activities were poor health and illness. Data from 2002 shows that socializing with friends decreases with age; however socializing with children and neighbours increases with age.

Key words: socializing, social integration, social ties, elderly

Top of the page
Write to our E-mail Address