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Results

More than 1150 people responded to the Relationships Australia online survey in November 2018.  Just under 80 per cent of survey respondents (78%) identified as female, with more females than males responding in every age group (figure 1).  Eighty-seven per cent of survey respondents were aged between 20‑59 years, and more than 50 per cent of respondents comprised women aged between 30-49 years (inclusive).

As for previous surveys, the demographic profile of survey respondents remains consistent with our experience of the groups of people that would be accessing the Relationships Australia website.

More than eighty per cent of male (82%) and female (83%) survey respondents reported they had ageing or elderly parents.

Fifty-eight per cent of female survey respondents rated their relationships with their parents as excellent or very good, while 51 per cent of male survey respondents rated their relationships with their parents as excellent or very good.  A further one-quarter of female (26%) and male (27%) survey respondents rated their relationships with their parents as good, while one-sixth rated their relationships with their parents as poor.

The majority of survey respondents reported the main cause of conflict between them and their parents was their outdated or different viewpoint (men - 26%; women - 30%) or conflict between other family members (men - 20%; women - 23%).  Parental living arrangements was the main cause of conflict between them and their parents for 8 per cent of survey respondents (figure 2).

More than one-quarter of men and women reported that the conflict between them and their ageing parents has increased over time (figure 3), while one-third of survey respondents reported the tension in their relationships with their parents has decreased over time.  Twenty-one per cent of women and 15 per cent of men reported the levels of tension had remained about the same.

 

 

Despite reports of tension in relationships, 80 per cent of women and 71 per cent of men reported they contacted their ageing parents more than once a week, and a substantial majority expected they would have caring responsibilities for ageing parents, should the need arise.  Seventeen per cent of adult female and 13 per cent of adult male survey respondents expected that they would be the sole carer of their ageing parent, while a further 49 per cent of female and 41 per cent of male survey respondents expected to share the care of their ageing parent(s) with their siblings.  Fewer than ten per cent of survey respondents expected an aged care facility to care for their ageing parents when they were in need of assistance.

Relationships Australia State and Territory websites