Aging Parents: Recognizing Social Wisdom

Assisting parents with their health and other issues often keeps us focused on difficulties, so it is easy to forget just how much experience older parents have with the game of life.

Now research from the University of Michigan’s Culture and Cognition Program published in the April 6, 2010 Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS) (click here for the abstract) suggests that older family members offer significant perspectives and positive attitudes and may be uniquely suited to help solve problems in their communities. The authors found, “Social reasoning improves with age despite a decline in fluid intelligence.” In his Associated Press (AP) article, In Social Dealings, Being Older is Being Wiser, Randolphe E. Schmid describes the research in detail.

Is there something that has struck you about a parents’s social wisdom?

N.B. January 2. 2011: When this post was written, the article was not available as a PDF.  The full text of Reasoning About Social Conflicts Improves into Old Age can be downloaded from the PNAS site

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