Despite what they may say, mothers have favorites among their children, and a new study finds that those preferences tend to continue into old age. The authors of the study suggest that doctors, hospital staff, and family members need to take those preferences into account when decisions are made about caregiving and other matters for the aging parent.
‘‘There’s been a great deal of research done on younger mothers with young children in terms of favoritism,’’ said Jill Suitor, a sociologist at Purdue University and one of the authors of the paper, published in the Journal of Marriage and Family. ‘‘It’s very common for parents to differentiate between their children’’ with regard to punishment and feelings of closeness, she said. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.