About one in two daughters (55 percent) regularly discuss personal matters with their mothers, according to an interim conclusion of the pairfam relationship and family panel.
According to the technical university of chemnitz, comparatively few sons (29 percent) regularly reveal personal details to their mothers, while not even one in seven sons (13 percent) frequently discuss personal matters with their fathers. The data from daughters and sons between the ages of 15 and 37 on their relationship with their parents was analyzed.
The comparatively close relationship between daughters and mothers is already known to the experts from earlier studies. The reason for this is that within families, women are typically entrusted with the task of organizing family cohesion and maintaining contact with relatives outside their own households. The role of the central integration figure is primarily taken over by mothers and daughters, as in the past, it was said.
According to the technical university of chemnitz, earlier studies also showed that after the fall of the wall in 1989, east german family ties were significantly closer than those in west germany. This phenomenon is explained by the importance of the family in the GDR as a special place of retreat and a community of solidarity.
This finding is still reflected in the pairfam study: "the east-west difference, however, is only found in the age group born between 1971 and 1973," sociologist daniel fub told the news agency dpa. In the east, the proportion of people with a close relationship to their mother or father is five percentage points higher than in the west.
The two younger groups of respondents, on the other hand, showed no significant east-west differences in the frequency of contact and emotional attachment to their parents. "This points to a levelling out of circumstances," said fub.
The pairfam long-term project is germany’s largest family study: over a period of 14 years, more than 10,000 people provide information annually about their relationships and family life. The researchers surveyed randomly selected people throughout germany who were born between 1971 and 1973, 1981 and 1983, and 1991 and 1993. In addition to the chemnitz university of technology, scientists from the universities of mannheim, munich and bremen are also participating in the project, which has been running since 2008.
According to the study, intergenerational relations, even across genders, are on average not dominated by conflicts and tensions, but by emotional closeness and mutual support. More than 80 percent of the children no longer living at home had contact with their mother at least once a week, and nearly 70 percent with their fathers.
According to the survey, a good two-thirds of respondents feel a close bond with their parents. More than three quarters help their parents with everyday matters. More than half of them regularly receive larger gifts or financial benefits from their parents.