A research being conducted by Brian Carpenter, Ph.D., of the Washington University in St. Louis shows that totally different views may be held by two adult siblings with regard to their parents' wants. They may even encounter the same difficulties which children come across. There is nothing which clearly indicates as to which child will be able to properly understand its parents lifestyle wants.
The children who feel that they have an emotionally close relationship with their parents are able to understand the needs of their parents better. There appears to be no correlation between proximity of children, gender, and age with regard to this subject. The research is supported by the Brookdale Foundation and the Administration on Aging.
There is a broad range of accuracy with regard to adult children while predicting parental lifestyle, housing, financial, and medical preferences. This proves that deciding upon what a loved one wants is no easy matter, as is proved in the Terry Schiavo case. Carpenter started his research by studying just one child, which later expanded to more siblings.
The decisions which were most poorly predicted were with regard to personal growth and autonomy. Most children felt that theirs parents are no longer particular about traveling, reading, attending cultural events, and also making their own choices. The research is also focusing on whether the interaction style and family dynamics enable a child to be good at predicting.
The characteristics of the family relationship which make good predictors out of children are sought to be identified through the research. An educative portion is also a part of the research being conducted by Carpenter, wherein families are taught with regard to starting conversations. Several conversations are necessary for an adult to understand the wishes of his parents. The earlier an open dialogue is started between the parent and the child, the better it will be at a later stage, according to Carpenter.