Grandparenting and adolescent well-being: evidence from the UK and Israel

Shalhevet Attar-Schwartz*, Ann Buchanan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article reviews the major findings of two large-scale studies on adolescent–grandparent relationship conducted in the UK and in Israel. The Israeli study followed the UK study, deepening the investigation of some of the major themes uncovered in the British study. Both studies reveal that grandmothers and grandfathers are highly involved in adolescents’ lives and that this involvement is associated with increased adolescent well-being. The studies focus on the role of grandparents in times of parental divorce and other stressful events, as well as the weaker status of the paternal grandparents in post-divorce families and the correlates of the adolescent’s relationship with the paternal grandmother. Both studies highlight the role of intergenerational relationships, including parent–grandparent and parent–adolescent bonds, in the adolescent–grandparent relationship, in line with the intergenerational solidarity model. The Israeli study deepens our understanding of the possible contributions of cultural affiliation to the child–grandparent relationship by comparing Arab and Jewish adolescents’ self-reports of their relationships with their grandparents. These studies bring to light the possible positive role of grandparent involvement. Family psychology should pay greater attention to this role and its contribution, especially in times of transition and distress in adolescents’ lives.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)219-231
Number of pages13
JournalContemporary Social Science
Volume13
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 3 Apr 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
★ Partially supported by the Austrian Science Fund under grant P20134-N13. 1 In some instances in the literature, the sign convention is the opposite of what we have described.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Academy of Social Sciences.

Keywords

  • Grandparenting
  • adolescents
  • culture
  • intergenerational relationships
  • parental divorce
  • well-being

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