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Non-custodial grandparent caregiving in Chinese families: implications for family dynamics

Cynthia Leung (Professor, based at Department of Applied Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Hong Kong)
Barbara Fung (Senior Medical Officer, based at Family Health Service, Department of Health, Hong Kong SAR Government, Wan Chai, Hong Kong)

Journal of Children's Services

ISSN: 1746-6660

Article publication date: 9 December 2014




The purpose of this paper is to understand the needs and experiences of Chinese families where grandparents were involved in the non-custodial care of their grandchildren.


In total five grandparent focus groups and three parent focus groups were conducted. The data were analysed using the constant comparative method.


Though most grandparents enjoyed their grandparent roles, there were differences in the perception of the grandparent role between grandparents and parents. Both grandparents and parents reported intergenerational conflicts on the management of the grandchildren, which was distressing for both parties.

Practical implications

It was suggested that grandparent training programmes might be a viable strategy to support families.


The study provided insights into family dynamics in the context of grandparent caregiving, child development, as well as children's services.



This study was funded by an Internal Grant from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University for the employment of a research assistant, purchase of copyright test materials and general expenses.


Leung, C. and Fung, B. (2014), "Non-custodial grandparent caregiving in Chinese families: implications for family dynamics", Journal of Children's Services, Vol. 9 No. 4, pp. 307-318.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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