Basics of family mutual assistance (the example of families with adult children)

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The article is devoted to the study of mutual aid relations in the family and relative circle. Researchers give ambiguous assessment of mutual assistance relationships between parents and their adult children. The main research task is to establish the basis of family-related assistance in families with adult children who are University students, and to determine the necessary conditions for its reproduction. The article is based on the theoretical works of B. Malinovsky, K. Polanyi, N. Luhmann, and other leading foreign and Russian scientists. The empirical base of the research is a survey of 300 students and 14 individual semi-structured interviews of students of the Ural State University of Economics, collected in 2020. The study established that the family-related mutual assistance in families with adult children is based on relations of reciprocity, interdependence of family members, the symmetry of the support acts when the role of the recipient of the gift or service and the giver alternate, gifts and services are nonequivalent. Thus, parents’ support of student children is often regular. However, student’s support of their parents usually depends on the situation. The leading type of family support of adult children is the financial support from their parents, and for parents it is their children’s household help. Emotional and psychological support is provided by more than half of the students and their parents. The study of the family support determined the conditions for the emergence and reproduction of family mutual assistance relationships that characterize families with children who are University students as the basis of family mutual assistance. These conditions include the situation is objectively perceived by the relatives of potential subjects and objects of family care as requiring family support; the development of the family assistance traditions (customs); the willingness (consent) to accept help; the formation of the subject motivation for action; the possibility (material, physical, emotional and psychological) of the subject of assistance to provide it; the choice of forms and methods of family support by the subject and object of assistance; the actual provision (receipt) of support.


Family-related assistance, student children, reciprocity, conditions of family assistance, basics of mutual assistance

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IDR: 147235318   |   DOI: 10.14529/ssh210311

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