This literature review focused on the caregiving dynamics of adult children with dependent elderly parents. The 57 studies reviewed represent a comprehensive listing of the research. An unusually complete report of the study findings was prepared to provide the interested practitioner with an accessible resource of reference. The purpose was to contribute to an increase in the awareness of the helping professional about adult child caregiving dynamics and well-being. Caregivers have been identified as a population at risk for debilitating stress effects. Research on the dynamics underlying this stress is presently in the descriptive and exploratory stages. Although the boundaries of caregiving dynamics appear to be established, research seems to be progressing in fragmented and unsystematic style. Caregiver burden, filial expectations of care receivers, the role of the caregiving adult daughter, and educational models for caregiver support groups are areas of research focus. Awareness of the aging process, coordination of informal and formal caregiving resources, and the adult child's reaction to parental death are areas where more research focus needs to be directed. Longitudinal research is needed to balance the cross-sectional style of research also. The work of clinicians and researchers active in the study of caregiving dynamics is in critical need of integration.
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