Grandparental support and life satisfaction among adolescents in residential care

Shalhevet Attar-Schwartz*, Yisca Huri

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Grandparental support among youth in out-of-home settings in general, and among youth in residential care settings (RCSs) in particular, has been largely under-researched. The current study, based on the reports of a random cluster sample of 1236 adolescents in grades 8 to 12 residing in Israeli educational RCSs for youth from underprivileged backgrounds, examined the contribution of informal grandparental support to the life satisfaction of adolescents in RCSs. The findings showed that the grandparent identified by the adolescent as the closest grandparent (usually the maternal grandmother) was highly involved in the adolescent's life. In line with social capital and family systems theories, we found grandparental support to be positively associated with adolescents’ life satisfaction. Adolescents reporting better relationships between their closest grandparent and the parent that is the offspring of that grandparent also reported higher levels of life satisfaction. Finally, we found a significant interaction between grandparental support, parent-grandparent relationship, and adolescent life satisfaction. Specifically, it was found that for youth with better parent-grandparent relationships, the link between grandparental support and adolescent life satisfaction is stronger. The findings enhance our understanding of the importance of familial figures other than parents to the well-being of children and youth in residential care and the circumstances in which these relationships are most beneficial to them. The findings have implications for intervention programs aimed at strengthening the social support systems of children and youth in out-of-home settings in order to enhance their well-being.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)70-78
Number of pages9
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Volume96
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier Ltd

Keywords

  • Grandparent support
  • Intergenerational relationships
  • Life satisfaction
  • Residential care
  • Youth

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