Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Margaret Manoogian


The grandparent role is a dynamic and often ambivalent relationship requiring simultaneous navigation of “being there” and “not interfering” in the lives of grandchildren (Mason, May, & Clarke, 2007). These relationships change as grandchildren mature and can result in new grandparent-grandchild connections based on communication, intimacy, and mutual respect (Sheehan & Petrovic, 2008). Utilizing a sample of grandfathers and young-adult grandchildren (N = 32), this study investigated the impact that grandfathers have on their young-adult grandchildren. Utilizing a life course perspective, we asked: a) How do grandfathers invest in the futures of their young-adult grandchildren? b) How do young-adult grandchildren recognize and receive their grandfather’s investments in their futures? Results suggest that grandfathers emphasized their grandparenting role but undervalued their contributions to their grandchildren. Grandfathers and grandchildren also did not always agree on the transmissions intended and received. When asked to recall meaningful memories of grandfathers, young-adult grandchildren were more likely to remember instances of shared hobbies, interests, and personal connection. Findings have implications for understanding and strengthening the ties between grandfathers and their grandchildren.

Included in

Gerontology Commons



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