Relationship Quality in Non-Cognitively Impaired Mother–Daughter Care Dyads: A Systematic Review

Diane N. Solomon, Lissi Hansen, Judith G. Baggs, Karen S. Lyons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


More than 60 million Americans provide care to a family member; roughly two thirds are women providing care to aging mothers. Despite the protective nature of relationship quality, little attention has been given to its role in mother–daughter care dyads, particularly in mothers without cognitive impairment. A systematic appraisal of peer-reviewed, English language research was conducted. Nineteen articles met criteria. When relationship quality is positive, mother–daughter dyads enjoy rewards and mutuality, even when conflict occurs. Daughters grow more emotionally committed to mothers’ over the care trajectory, despite increasing demands. Daughters’ commitment deepens as mothers physically decline, and mothers remain engaged, emotional partners. When relationship quality is ambivalent or negative, burden, conflict, and blame conspire, creating a destructive cycle. Avenues for continuing study, including utilizing the dyad as the unit of analysis, troubled dyads, longitudinal assessment, and end of life context, are needed before interventions to improve mother–daughter relationship quality may be successfully implemented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)551-578
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Family Nursing
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015


  • adult daughters
  • caregiving
  • intergenerational relations
  • mothers
  • relationship quality
  • systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Community and Home Care
  • Family Practice


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