Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Human Development, Consumer and Family Sciences


A growing trend among American parents is to delay the birth of a first child until a woman is 30 or older, a phenomenon referred to as delayed parenting (Boggs, 1994; Rindfuss, Morgan, & Swicegood, 1988). It is important that future parents realize the impact that this life decision could have on the parent-child relationship. The primary intention of this study was to compare mother-daughter relationships between two main groups: (1) mothers who transitioned to parenthood "on-time" and, (2) mothers who "delayed" transition to parenthood. The average age of mothers when mother-daughter relationships were measured was 53.5. The measures of relationships included: frequency of contact, closeness, and similar outlook on life. A sample of 120 respondents were extracted from the 1992-1994 wave of the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (WLS) for analysis. Three age-categories were used for comparison: 20-24.99, 25-29.99, and 30-39.99. Crosstabulations/Chi-square analysis was used to determine if there was a significant difference between the age categories on the three measures of relationships. A gamma measure of association was also utilized to determine the strength and direction of associations. Results of statistical analysis revealed that there was not a significant difference between "on-time" transition to parenthood and "delayed" transition in terms of motherdaughter relationships.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Mothers and daughters Maternal age Middle aged mothers -- Family relationships Children of older parents -- Family relationships



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University