Reciprocal Effects among Grandparent-grandchild Contact Frequency, Closeness, and Perceived General Health: Grandchildren’s reports

By Mikiyasu Hakoyama and Eileen MaloneBeach.

Published by The International Journal of Aging and Society

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: June 5, 2015 $US5.00

Extended longevity has given older adults opportunities to enjoy prolonged periods of grandparenthood. Multiple demographic and personal factors are found to be associated with grandparenthood. Grandparent-grandchild (GP-GC) contact frequency and their relationship closeness are associated. GP-GC closeness and general health of the grandparents are also associated. It is not clear, however, directional effects of these elements. Less is clear how these factors interact with each other over time. The current study, therefore, by employing path analysis, examined directional and relative effects among these three factors. The online survey asked young adults their perspectives of relationships with their grandparents (N = 470). Participants were asked their views of relationships with their focal grandparents retrospectively in three stages (childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood). It was revealed that patterns established in earlier years tended to continue into later years. While GP-GC contact frequency seems to be a key in establishing a core GP-GC relationship pattern, which influence GP-GC closeness and grandparent’s perceived general health, in later years, grandparent’s perceived health and GP-GC closeness are likely to help maintain frequent contact. Implications of the findings in enriching older adults in playing grandparental roles are discussed.

Keywords: Grandparent-grandchild Relationships, Path Analysis, Directional Effects

The International Journal of Aging and Society, Volume 5, Issue 3, September 2015, pp.23-37. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: June 5, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 482.936KB)).

Dr. Mikiyasu Hakoyama

Assistant Professor, Human Environmental Studies Department, Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, USA

Dr. Eileen MaloneBeach

Professor, Human Environmental Studies Department, Central MIchigan University, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, USA