Grandparenting and Adolescent Adjustment in Two-Parent Biological, Lone-Parent, and Step-Families

Shalhevet Attar-Schwartz*, Jo Pei Tan, Ann Buchanan, Eirini Flouri, Julia Griggs

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

127 Scopus citations


There is limited research on the links between grandparenting and adolescents' well-being, especially from the perspective of the adolescents. The study examined whether grandparent involvement varied in two-parent biological, lone-parent, and step- families and whether this had a different contribution to the emotional and behavioral adjustment of adolescents across different family structures. The study is based on a sample of 1,515 secondary school students (ages 11-16 years) from England and Wales who completed a structured questionnaire. Findings of hierarchical regression analyses showed that among the whole sample, greater grandparent involvement was associated with fewer emotional problems (p < .01) and with more prosocial behavior (p < .001). In addition, while there were no differences in the level of grandparent involvement across the different family structures, grandparent involvement was more strongly associated with reduced adjustment difficulties among adolescents from lone-parent and step- families than those from two-parent biological families. A possible implication is that the positive role of grandparent involvement in lone-parent and step- families should be more emphasized in family psychology.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)67-75
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Family Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2009


  • adolescents' adjustment
  • grandparenting
  • lone parents
  • parental separation
  • stepfamilies


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