Patterns of parental contact in middletown U.S.A. by distance and sex

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Lewellen, Gary L.
Condran, John G.
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Traditional sociological analyses has suggested that urbanization leads to decreased family ties and contact. Previous studies, cited in this paper, have explored this phenomenon with varying results. This paper explores the correlation between distance and contact between married adults in Muncie, Indiana, and same and different sex parents. It is hypothesized that both telephone/letter and face to face contact will diminish as distance increases. A second hypothesis explored in this paper suggests that contact is sexually differentiated with mothers being contacted most frequently and fathers least.Analysis of these data shows relatively high levels of contact between married offspring and their parents. The hypotheses in this study were supported: both telephone/letter and face to face contact diminish with increases in distance and contact patterns are affected by the sex of the parent and offspring. Mothers and daughters have the most frequent contact, fathers and sons the least.