ERIC Number: ED312605
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Contact with Grandchildren and Views of Grandparent-Grandchild Bonds.
Thomas, Jeanne L.
Relationships with grandchildren are a normative experience of middle and later adulthood, and a correlate of mental health. This study was conducted to explore associations between grandparents' views of their relationship with a grandchild and their reports of their own and their children's influence upon contact with the grandchild. Grandfathers (N=115) and grandmothers (N=186) recruited through church and civic organizations participated in a structured interview concerning their relationship with the oldest grandchild in the two-parent household geographically closest to them. Grandparents reporting that parents or the grandchild initiated most visits expressed greatest satisfaction with the relationships; grandparents reporting that all parties initiated visits about equally often expressed the lowest levels of responsibility to help the grandchild. Grandparents who reported that parents were present during most visits expressed the lowest levels of satisfaction with the relationships; grandparents who reported that they spent most visits with the grandchild alone expressed the higest levels of responbility for disciplining the grandchild, for offering childrearing advice to parents, and for helping the grandchild. It is suggested that parents' presence during grandparent-grandchild visits does not necessarily have a salutory effect upon the grandparent's view of the relationship. Rather, grandparent-grandchild contact without parents present may be a context for the development of particularly vital bonds. (Author/NB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. on Aging (DHHS/NIH), Bethesda, MD.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Gerontological Society of America (42nd, Minneapolis MN, November 17-21, 1989).