Deidre Lynn Redmond
After receiving my Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice and Political Science from Adrian College (2005), I entered the Ph.D. program in the Department of Sociology at Indiana University Bloomington. My research agenda concentrates on understanding how children affect parents' mental health at different points in the life course. This research program began while writing my Master's thesis, "Does Parenthood Offer an Emotional Benefit?" This project extended recent literature on gender, mental health, and emotions by examining the relationship between parenthood and emotional expression. My dissertation, a direct extension of this research agenda on parenthood and mental health, is entitled, "Understanding the Effects of Adult Children on the Health of Middle-Aged Parents." This work employs data from the 2001 National Survey of Families and Households (NSFH) to explore how adult children's experiences and stressors affect middle-aged parents' psychological well-being. The empirical analyses in the dissertation not only assess how different experiences and stressors of adult children affect the psychological well-being of their middle-aged parents, but also explicate how inter-generational solidarity is a mechanism linking parents and their children in adulthood.
To expand this research agenda, I am conducting in-depth interviews with middle-aged parents and their adult children. The Parent and Adult Child Experiences Study (PACES), funded by the Indiana University Bloomington Department of Sociology's Social Science and Diversity Initiative (SSDI), is designed to provide a richer understanding of the mechanisms that link adult child experiences and stressors to their parents' mental health outcomes.