Variations in grandchildren's perceptions of their grandfathers and grandmothers: dynamics of age and gender

Mann, Robin, Khan, Hafiz T.A. ORCID: and Leeson, George W. (2013) Variations in grandchildren's perceptions of their grandfathers and grandmothers: dynamics of age and gender. Journal of Intergenerational Relationships, 11 (4). pp. 380-395. ISSN 1535-0770

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In this article we investigate grandchildren’s perceptions of their relations with grandfathers and grandmothers. There is very little research which examines grandchild-grandparent relationships from the perspective of grandchildren. Research on grandparenthood and multigenerational families, has consistently suggested that it is maternal grandmothers and granddaughters who have the closest relationships. We question this by pointing to the significant variations by age and gender in grandchildren’s perceptions of the grandparents both with whom they have most contact and with whom they get on with best. Matrilineal advantage towards maternal grandmothers is less obvious for the older grandchildren within our sample, and even less so for older grandsons. Grandsons aged 12 and over are more likely to perceive maternal grandfathers as the grandparent they get on with best. Thus the perceived salience of grandfathers relative to grandmothers varied significantly by age and gender of grandchild. The findings support the importance of a multidimensional construct of intergenerational solidarity; distinguish in our cases between the associational and affectual solidarity dimensions, as developed by Bengtson and others. This allows us to understand why a grandchild could have more contact with one grandparent, yet feel closer to another.

Item Type: Article
Identifier: 10.1080/15350770.2013.839326
Keywords: gender variations, grandchildren, grandfathers, grandparenthood, intergenerational solidarity
Subjects: Social sciences
Depositing User: Hafiz T.A. Khan
Date Deposited: 04 Jun 2013 11:38
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2024 15:53

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