Adult Development and Aging - Chapter 11

abusive relationship

a relationship that one partner displays aggressive behavior toward the other partner.

assortative mating

a theory that people find partners based on their similarity to each other.

battered woman syndrome

a situation in which a woman believes she cannot leave an abusive relationship and where she may even go so far as to kill her abuser.


living with another person as part of a committed, intimate, sexual relationship.

exchange theory

a theory of relationships based on the idea each partner contributes something to the relationship the other would be hard-pressed to provide.

extended family

the most common family form globally in which grandparents and other relatives live with partners and children.


refers to the idea the well-being of the family takes precedence over the concerns of individual family members.

filial obligation

the feeling that, as an adult child, one must care for one's parents.


the notion similar interests and values are important in forming strong, lasting, interpersonal relationships.


the person who gathers family members together for celebrations and keeps them in touch with each other.

marital adjustment

the degree spouses accommodate each other over a certain period of time.

marital quality

the subjective evaluation of the couple's relationship on a number of different dimensions.

marital satisfaction

a global assessment of one's marriage.

marital success

an umbrella term referring to any marital outcome.

married singles

married couples who have grown apart but continue to live together.

nuclear family

form of family consisting only of parent(s) and child(ren).

sandwich generation

middle-aged adults caught between the competing demands of two generations: their parents and their children.

socioemotional selectivity

a theory of relationships that argues social contact is motivated by a variety of goals, including information seeking, self-concept, and emotional regulation.

vulnerability-stress-adaptation model

a model that sees marital quality as a dynamic process resulting from the couple's ability to handle stressful events in the context of their particular vulnerabilities and resources.