Utilizing a Family Decision-Making Lens to Examine Adults’ End-of-Life Planning Actions

Angela Woosley, Sharon M. Danes, Marlene Stum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Guided by Rettig’s family decision-making theory, the study investigated the effect of an adult child’s decision environment, an adult child’s decision-making perceptions, and a parent’s end-of-life (EOL) planning actions before death on an integrated measure of medical and financial EOL planning actions. Data came from Wave 3 of the public use data of the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study. Results indicated that household net worth, parent’s completion of a living will before death, and adult children’s avoidance of death ideation explained the greatest proportion of variance in adult children’s EOL planning actions. Results also indicated that women, those married, and those with higher education did more EOL planning. Practitioners can use this information to close accessibility gaps due to net worth differences, advocate for a more unified approach to EOL planning, and shift the focus of discussions of death from the death itself to a life well lived.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-44
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Family and Economic Issues
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, Springer Science+Business Media New York.

Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Adult children
  • End-of-life planning
  • Estate planning
  • Families

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