A new study finds the "sandwich generation," baby boomers, who are taking care of an elderly parent as well as financially helping a grown child, are under increased financial stress. But there's a silver lining.

 

A Pew Research Center report finds these middle-aged parents may enjoy closer emotional ties with their kids than boomers who are not helping their children pay the bills.

Montclair State Sociology professor Dr. Yasemin Besen-Cassino says this is part of a culture shift.

"For the first time," she says, "we're seeing more involvement on the part of the parents - that they're active participants in their kids lives…and it's a very enriching experience - it's emotionally gratifying."

She says, "There's been a big culture shift in the way we define parenthood, that it's not just about taking care of your kid then they have to be on their own…I think this is a very healthy trend that keeps the older generations in the lives of younger people so we don't have this age segregation anymore…I think it's a combination of the economics with changing definitions of motherhood and fatherhood and changing definitions of culture."

Dr. Cassino adds, "It used to be you raised your kids and once they were 18 they were out of the house, and you don't have the same relationship with them anymore. But now things are changing - we have these relationships with them even when they're adults, and it's great."