Grandparent involvement promotes well-being in children

Grandparents play an important role in their grandchildrens’ lives.  In particular, two recent studies demonstrate the positive impact of grandparent involvement. In the first study, lead by Prof Ann Buchanan from Oxford University, highlighted several benefits of grandparent involvement [1]:

In this study it was interesting that a grandparent’s active involvement was significantly associated with better adjusted adolescents. In particular, taking part in grandchildren’s hobbies and interests was significantly associated with fewer emotional and behaviour problems, and fewer peer problems. Grandparent involvement in schooling or education was also related to a lower maladjustment score and fewer conduct problems, and talking to grandparents about future plans was associated with fewer overall emotional and behavioural difficulties, and fewer peer problems.

A second study, lead by Jeremy Yorgason from Brigham Young University [2],  linked grandparent involvement to greater care and concern children demonstrated for people outside immediate family and friends.  Financial assistance from grandparents was also associated with higher engagement in the classroom for kids in single-parent homes.

Although benefits for both of these studies were demonstrated for adolescent children, the relationships should be forged at a much younger age.  For distant grandparents, the relationships cultivated through shared book reading in Kindoma Storytime lay the groundwork for continued involvement later in life.

[1] Buchanan, A (2008).  Involved Grandparents and Child Well-Being. 

[2] Yorgason, J. B., Padilla-Walker, L., Jackson, J. (2011) Nonresidential Grandparents' Emotional and Financial Involvement in Relation to Early Adolescent Grandchild Outcomes.  Journal of Research on Adolescence.  (21) 3.  Blackwell Publishing, Inc.