Centre for Policy on Ageing

Intergenerational friendships of older adults
 — why do we know so little about them?
Author(s)Catherine Elliott O'Dare, Virpi Timonen, Catherine Conlon
Journal titleAgeing and Society, vol 39, no 1, January 2019
PublisherCambridge University Press, January 2019
Pagespp 1-16
Full text*https://doi.org/10.1017/S0144686X17000800
AnnotationIntergenerational projects bringing together older adults and younger adults are increasingly common, but there is little research on unstructured, naturally occurring interaction, and in particular friendship between different generations. The aim of this article is to interrogate why we know so little about adult intergenerational friendship. A systematic literature search on this topic, covering a 30-year period, yielded only six articles which satisfied the inclusion criteria. This prompted the authors to examine how the topics of intergenerational friendship and friendship in old age have been approached in the literature to date. The authors argue that the paucity of research on intergenerational friendship reflects the focus of existing research on homophily, and consequently friendships among older or younger adults; and that this in turn reflects a social construction of older adults as unsuited to friendship with younger adults. Investigations of intergenerational friendship can help challenge the images and models of ageing and older adults that both research and societies currently operate with, and are constrained by. The authors conclude by calling for research that explores the views and experiences of older adults as parties to intergenerational relationships that are non-kin, chosen and based on mutual enjoyment. (RH).
Accession NumberCPA-181214200 A
ClassmarkBB: SB: SBC: DS:SX: TMA: NP: 64A
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