The relationship between grandparent satisfaction, meaning, and generativity
Thiele, D. M & Whelan, TA. (2008). The relationship between grandparent satisfaction, meaning, and generativity. International Journal of Aging and Human Development,66(1), 21-48. United States of America: Baywood Publishing Co., Inc.. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.2190/AG.66.1.b
This study investigated predictors of grandparent satisfaction. Participants were 149 non-custodial grandparents (100 grandmothers, 49 grandfathers) aged up to 80 years. They completed grandparent satisfaction, meaning, and generativity scales, and indicated levels of weekly childcare contact with grandchildren. As expected, increasing levels of generativity predicted greater satisfaction, as did valued elder and centrality meanings. Unexpectedly, reinvolvement, immortality, and indulgence meanings were not predictors, nor was childcare contact. There was only partial support for grandparent gender as a predictor: being a grandmother predicted greater satisfaction, but this effect disappeared when the meaning and generativity variables were included in the analysis. In conclusion, the findings highlight the significance the role can have for many grandparents. Grandparenting can be satisfying because it provides a sense of purpose, and feeling of being valued during middle and later life when generative developmental needs are greatest.