Children are kinder when Grandma and Grandpa are involved in their lives

November 16, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Grandparents love to boast about their grandkids’ accomplishments, and now a new study gives them credit for helping their young grandchildren be a little kinder and – in some cases – a little smarter.

Scholars from Brigham Young University interviewed grandchildren ages 10-14 about their relationship with their grandparents. One year later, the researchers again contacted the 408 adolescents to gather information about their emotional development.

Grandparents’ involvement was related to adolescents developing a greater sense of care and concern for people outside of their immediate group of friends and family.

“The bottom line is that grandparents have a positive influence on their grandkids that is distinct from the effect of the parent-child relationship,” said lead study author Jeremy Yorgason.

None of the youth in this study lived with their grandparents, but some of the parents had received financial help from the grandparents during the study. For kids in single-parent homes, financial assistance from grandparents was associated with higher engagement in school.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

sometimes act as the National Guard and help out in a crisis,” Yorgason said. “The kids in single-parent homes may not even know about the financial help, but it’s related to them being more engaged in school.”

The study appears in the current issue of the Journal of Research on Adolescence.

“There are only a handful of studies that have been able to link the grandparent with some grandchild outcome,” Yorgason said. “This is a fairly new arena of research.”

Explore further: The ties that bind: Grandparents and their grandchildren

More information: onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1532-7795.2010.00735.x/abstract

Related Stories

The ties that bind: Grandparents and their grandchildren

May 13, 2011

Close your eyes for a moment, open your treasure trove of memories and take a step back in time to your childhood. Do you remember your grandfather gently scooping you up into his warm and comforting embrace? Or sitting by ...

Recommended for you

Is neuroticism fueled by overthinking?

August 27, 2015

Isaac Newton was a classic neurotic. He was a brooder and a worrier, prone to dwelling on the scientific problems before him as well as his childhood sins. But Newton also had creative breakthroughs—thoughts on physics ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.