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Article
Publication date: 9 March 2015

Sam Smethers

The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the role that grandparents play in family life in Britain today with a particular focus on demographic change and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the role that grandparents play in family life in Britain today with a particular focus on demographic change and the grandparental caring contribution for both children and older adults.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing upon a wide range of sources the author sets out the context, recent demographic and economic trends and presents a way forward.

Findings

The research presented in this paper suggests that grandparents are playing an increasingly important role in family life and their caring contribution makes a material difference to maternal employment rates in particular. It also suggests that those who step in to the parenting role face particular challenges which need to be addressed.

Research limitations/implications

Further research into the significance of the grandparent/grandchild relationship is needed, together with the caring contribution of those who provide intensive support to families in times of crisis both in terms of the impact that has on the grandparents but also the difference it makes to parents and children.

Practical implications

One key practical implication is the need for a formal childcare infrastructure in the UK which does not assume that grandparents will always be there to provide childcare for working parents on the scale they do today.

Social implications

Grandparents are living longer so more of them will have longer-lasting relationships with their grandchildren. But mothers are also ageing and so gradually over time the age at which we become grandparents will also be pushed back. This may in turn mean that grandparents in 20 years time may be less involved in childcare in any case.

Originality/value

This piece does not present new research but rather provides an overview of existing evidence.

Details

Quality in Ageing and Older Adults, vol. 16 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-7794

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 25 February 2021

Nekehia T. Quashie, Julian G. McKoy Davis, Douladel Willie-Tyndale, Kenneth James and Denise Eldemire-Shearer

Purpose: Grandparents are common providers of childcare within the Caribbean region. Yet research on the implications of grandparent caregiving for older adults…

Abstract

Purpose: Grandparents are common providers of childcare within the Caribbean region. Yet research on the implications of grandparent caregiving for older adults’ well-being is limited. This study examined gender differences in the relationship between grandparent caregiving and the life satisfaction of older adults in Jamaica.

Methodology: Using a sample of 1,622 grandparents 60 years and older drawn from the 2012 study “The Health and Social Status of Older Jamaicans,” we estimated binary logistic regression models to examine the association between the frequency of grandparent caregiving and the life satisfaction of grandparents.

Findings: Grandmothers were more likely than grandfathers to provide care. We did not find a statistically significant gender difference in the life satisfaction of caregiving grandparents. Yet, gender differences in the patterns of association between grandparent caregiving and life satisfaction were evident. Among grandmothers, both occasional and regular caregiving was associated with higher life satisfaction relative to non-caregivers. Among grandfathers, however, only regular caregiving was positively associated with life satisfaction.

Originality: This is the first population-based study within the Caribbean to examine gendered patterns of grandparent caregiving and the association with grandparents’ well-being. The findings of this study suggest that grandparent caregiving is beneficial to the well-being of older Jamaican men and women. This study challenges assumptions of gender norms that typically do not position men to be involved in caregiving roles, and to derive satisfaction from such roles, within Caribbean households. The authors suggest more attention should be given to interventions to encourage men to be actively involved in family caregiving.

Details

Aging and the Family: Understanding Changes in Structural and Relationship Dynamics
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80071-491-5

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Book part
Publication date: 25 February 2021

Seung-won Emily Choi and Zhenmei Zhang

Purpose: In recent decades, it has been a burgeoning trend in South Korea that older women are more actively engaged in grandparenting (i.e., caring for grandchildren) as…

Abstract

Purpose: In recent decades, it has been a burgeoning trend in South Korea that older women are more actively engaged in grandparenting (i.e., caring for grandchildren) as they are living longer and healthier lives. The present study examines how grandparenting is associated with the mental health of grandmothers.

Design/methodology/approach: Drawing from the Korean Longitudinal Study of Aging (2008–2012, N = 2,814), we used growth curve models to estimate the trajectories of grandmothers’ depressive symptoms by grandparenting type.

Findings: The results show that caregiving grandmothers in multigenerational households experience a decline in depressive symptoms with age, despite having a higher mean level of depressive symptoms than non-caregiving grandmothers at age 47; whereas the non-caregiving grandmothers experience an increase in depressive symptoms with age. Grandmothers who provide non-coresident grandparenting (i.e., babysitting) are not significantly different from non-caregiving grandmothers in the rate of increase in depressive symptoms.

Originality/value: Grandparenting in multigenerational households may have a beneficial effect on older women’s mental health over time in South Korea. This finding is robust after we control for socioeconomic status, health behaviors, and social support.

Details

Aging and the Family: Understanding Changes in Structural and Relationship Dynamics
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80071-491-5

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 14 April 2008

Wolfgang Keck and Chiara Saraceno

The twentieth century witnessed dramatic changes both in the population and in the family/kinship age-structure, which affected the prevalence, length, and form of…

Abstract

The twentieth century witnessed dramatic changes both in the population and in the family/kinship age-structure, which affected the prevalence, length, and form of relationships between grandparents and grandchildren. Although most European countries share similar trends, there are considerable national peculiarities which have an impact on the experience of grandchildhood.

Details

Childhood: Changing Contexts
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-7623-1419-5

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1984

Sarah Cunningham

Congratulations cards, gifts, and announcements in newspapers are some features of the social rituals surrounding the birth of a child, normally a happy occasion. A subtle…

Abstract

Congratulations cards, gifts, and announcements in newspapers are some features of the social rituals surrounding the birth of a child, normally a happy occasion. A subtle mixture of public and private activity intermingle in reactions to this unique yet universal event. In this article I intend to explore the rituals and processes involved in hearing and spreading the news of a birth, with particular reference to grandparents. Such a discussion of the announceable features of becoming a grandparent can form the beginning of an assessment of the meaning and significance of grnadparenthood, something which has received little attention in sociological work. In providing an account of the essential features of ‘telling the news’, I hope to generate an understanding both of the procedures used to ‘make sense’ of grandparenthood, and of the structural assumptions and processes underlying the way in which events are announced.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 4 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Article
Publication date: 15 March 2013

Esther C.L. Goh

By using food consumption as a kaleidoscope, the aim of this paper is to illustrate the bidirectional and dialectical interactions among caregivers and between single…

Abstract

Purpose

By using food consumption as a kaleidoscope, the aim of this paper is to illustrate the bidirectional and dialectical interactions among caregivers and between single children and their multiple caregivers in Xiamen.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper reports findings from in‐depth interviews with grandparents and parents (n=33) from ten three‐generational families and parents (n=20) from ten nuclear families with single children between six and nine years old.

Findings

Grandparents unequivocally accorded supreme importance to ensuring a child finishes his/her meals while parents tended to hold slightly more liberal views. These differences created higher conflict and tensions between the caregivers in three‐generational families as compared to nuclear households. Children in multigenerational families were more frequently force‐fed by adult‐caregivers whereas their counterparts were more capable of feeding themselves during meal times.

Research limitations/implications

This exploratory study provides in‐depth insights but carries the limitation of generalisability. Future research can apply similar methodology on bigger samples so as to ascertain a better estimation of the extent of stress and tension across generations over meal times in urban China.

Practical implications

The initial finding reported in this paper is useful for public health workers and family life educators in China to help families with children of middle childhood to manage tension arising from meal times.

Originality/value

Diverging from most parenting research which tends to focus on parent‐child dynamics, this paper included three generations – grandparents, parents, grandchildren – in the research conceptualization. This is important as grandparents are integral parts of childrearing in China.

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Article
Publication date: 4 July 2018

Marie Vestergaard Mikkelsen and Bodil Stilling Blichfeldt

Holidays are often conceptualized as an opportunity for individuals to escape everyday life responsibilities, roles and relations. However, families bring with them…

Abstract

Purpose

Holidays are often conceptualized as an opportunity for individuals to escape everyday life responsibilities, roles and relations. However, families bring with them domestic, everyday life responsibilities, bonds and relationships while holidaying. So far, research on family holidays has emphasized the nuclear family, largely assuming that holidays include a husband-wife-child(ren) constellation. However, family holidays come in many different forms, and this paper aims to focus on the under-researched issue of grandparents and grandchildren vacationing together.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on 81 qualitative in situ interviews with grandparents, who vacation together with their grandchildren at Danish caravan sites, this paper explores how grandparents and grandchildren “do” family during joint holidays. Although attempts were made to give voice to children, the paper predominantly uses data from interviews with grandparents.

Findings

Although grandparent–grandchildren holidays resemble nuclear family holidays in a number of ways, significant differences are also identified. Key differences are that these holidays enable grandparents and grandchildren to interact both more intensively and in ways they cannot do (as easily) at home; are a means for grandparents to help and support their children; allow for grandparents and grandchildren to be both together and apart; and are critical to how contemporary families enact and “do” family across generations.

Originality/value

The paper deepens knowledge on the under-explored topic of extended family consumption in tourism and points to grandparent–grandchild holidays as an important element of how grandparents “do” family.

Details

Young Consumers, vol. 19 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-3616

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 6 December 2018

Rista Fauziningtyas, Retno Indarwati, Delisa Alfriani, Joni Haryanto, Elida Ulfiana, Ferry Efendi, Nursalam Nursalam and Khatijah Lim Abdullah

The raising of grandchildren by grandparents is a global phenomenon, and it is common in Indonesia. This is because parents are often unable or unwilling to raise their…

Abstract

Purpose

The raising of grandchildren by grandparents is a global phenomenon, and it is common in Indonesia. This is because parents are often unable or unwilling to raise their own children. However, the debate around “grandparenting” is still limited in Indonesia. The purpose of this paper is to gain a better understanding of the experience and views of grandparents on “grandparenting.”

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology employed was qualitative and informed by phenomenology. The authors conducted in-depth interviews with 13 grandparents who were raising their grandchildren who were under five years old. The data were analyzed using thematic content analysis.

Findings

5 main themes and 13 subthemes emerged from the analysis of the data. The themes were responses, strategies for overcoming negative responses, the grandparents’ role, the reason for raising grandchildren, and the cultural aspect of “grandparenting” in Java. All of the grandparents enjoyed their roles as grandparents. They felt that they helped fulfill their grandchildren’s physical and educational needs.

Social implications

The experience of raising a grandchild can be both positive and negative, depending on the cultural aspects in the Java and the family as a whole system. Grandparents require healthcare and informal support to maintain their well-being.

Originality/value

This paper provides new insights into “grandparenting” closely related to social and cultural aspect within the community. Grandparents enjoy being a part of the Javanese tradition. The supportive role of grandparents in Indonesia is important. However, older adults need to balance the role of “grandparenting” and rest time so that they remain healthy and happy.

Details

Working with Older People, vol. 23 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-3666

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 1996

Maximiliane Szinovacz

This study, based on data from the National Survey of Families and Households, confirms normative preference for nuclear households across all cohorts and racial/ethnic…

Abstract

This study, based on data from the National Survey of Families and Households, confirms normative preference for nuclear households across all cohorts and racial/ethnic groups throughout this century. However, a noteworthy minority (about 30%) did live with grandparents at some time during their childhood. Living with grandparents as well as having a grandparent live in one's parental household were somewhat more prevalent during the 30's and 40's, indicating that extended households may have been formed in response to the Depression and especially World War II. There also is a significant effect of nuclear family structure: living arrangements with grandparents predominate among those who did not live with both parents at some time during their childhood. The data also suggest that it is important to differentiate between grandparental living arrangements that are oriented toward the care of the grandchildren and those arrangements that imply care for the grandparent: the former arrangement predominates among Blacks, whereas the latter is more common among Whites. During the past decade there has been increased interest in extended family living arrangements and particularly in households including grandparents and/or grandchildren. This interest reflects several demographic trends during the latter part of this century, especially increases in divorce and in parental problems (drugs, AIDS) that preclude parents from taking care of their own children as well as increases in longevity and in the survival of frail elderly, many of whom come to live with their adult children. Census data offer information on the prevalence of extended family arrangements at any one point in time, but they are insufficient to estimate a person's lifetime “risk” of living with grandparents and provide only limited information on the duration of such living arrangements. Data from the National Survey of Families and Households (NSFH) include information not only on whether individuals ever lived with their grandparents but also on the type and the duration of such arrangements. Based on this data set, this article assesses trends in living arrangements with grandparents, and variations in these trends by race and childhood family structure.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 16 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Article
Publication date: 9 December 2014

Cynthia Leung and Barbara Fung

– 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.

Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

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

Findings

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.

Originality/value

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

Details

Journal of Children's Services, vol. 9 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-6660

Keywords

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