RESEARCH PAPER
Grandparental influence on young adult grandchildren: the role of grandparental empathy and quality of intergenerational relationships
 
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Institute of Psychology, University of Gdansk, Gdansk, Poland
Submission date: 2020-05-25
Final revision date: 2020-10-21
Acceptance date: 2020-10-24
Online publication date: 2020-11-27
Publication date: 2020-12-18
 
Current Issues in Personality Psychology 2020;8(4):329–338
 
KEYWORDS
TOPICS
ABSTRACT
Background:
Grandparent-grandchild relationships play an important role in the lives of young adults. The aim of the current study was to examine young adult grandchildren’s perceptions of the predictors of grandparental influence, includ-ing the quality of the intergenerational relationship and perceived grandparent’s empathy.

Participants and procedure:
The sample consisted of 363 young adults (55.9% female). The participants were surveyed about the quality of relationship with their closest grandparent (i.e., the frequency of contact, geographical proximity and relational closeness), grandparental empathy, and perception of grandparental influence.

Results:
The maternal grandmother was most often indicated as the closest grandparent. The perception of grandparental influence was predicted by the quality of intergenerational relationships and grandparental empathy after control-ling for sociodemographic variables, moderated by grandchild’s gender. Particularly, both for granddaughters and grandsons the relational closeness with the closest grandparent and perceived empathy were significant predictors of grandparental influence, but perceived grandparental empathy was a stronger predictor for granddaughters, whereas the relational closeness was a stronger predictor for grandsons.

Conclusions:
The role of the quality of grandparent-grandchild relationships and grandparental empathy in young adults’ per-ceptions of grandparents’ influence was confirmed and gender differences in determinants of grandparental influ-ence were found. These findings may be helpful in developing intergenerational programs targeted at improving the quality of the relationship with grandparents and their role in young adult grandchildren’s lives.

 
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