Pillemer study finds that mothers’ favorites remind them of themselves
October 21, 2013
Findings from research by J. Jill Suitor, Megan Gilligan, and the BCTR's Karl Pillemer examining mothers' favoritism was published this month in the Journal of Marriage and Family. The study was particularly concerned with patterns of favoritism over time. A recent Daily Mail article outlined the study's results:
Mothers favour children who remind them of themselves over those who are successful or well behaved, a seven-year study has found.
The study led by Jill Suitor, professor of sociology at Purdue University, interviewed 406 mothers aged between 65 and 75, asking which of their children they would most like to be their primary care giver.
The researchers found that the mothers were more likely to choose the child who they perceived as having similar beliefs and values to themselves even if they had other more stable or financially independent children.
And around three-quarters of them picked the same child at the start of the study as they did seven years later, suggesting children with similar beliefs stayed in favour for the long-term.
Continuity and Change in Mothers' Favoritism Toward Offspring in Adulthood - Journal of Marriage and Family