Conference Agenda

RN13_04c: Intergenerational relationships and kinship networks III
Wednesday, 21/Aug/2019:
6:00pm - 7:30pm

Session Chair: Ronny König, University of Zurich
Session Chair: Anna Stastna, Charles University
Location: UP.2.220
University of Manchester Building: University Place, Second Floor Oxford Road


Facets of Parent-Child Relationships in Adulthood and their Role in Transmitting Economic Deprivation across Generations

Marion Fischer-Neumann, Petra Böhnke

University of Hamburg, Germany

We explore how intergenerational relations can lead to poverty in adulthood and explain transfers of economic deprivation between family generations. The study relates to scholarly work that has shown that family social capital during childhood relates to social reproduction processes but extends it by studying the influence of multilocal relations between aging parents and children.

Relying on the concept of intergenerational solidarity, we differentiate six aspects of intergenerational relations: structural (i.e. geographical distance), associative (i.e. contact), emotional, conflictual, normative (i.e. norm of support) and functional (i.e. financial/instrumental support). Referring to social capital theory, intergenerational relations can influence individual socio-economic life chances. At the same time, the relations are dependent on socio-structural characteristics. Thus, an economically deprived family background may relate to lower levels of functional and emotional intergenerational relations. Hence, intergenerational relations may perpetuate intergenerational poverty.

Our panel regression results on the anchor data from four waves of the German Family Panel pairfam demonstrate that economic deprivation at age 10 is strogly associated with income poverty in adulthood (i.e. household income below 60% of the median, ages 18-47). This association is partly accounted by levels of parent’s education. There is no strong multivariate confirmation that intergenerational relations explain much of the intergenerational repoduction of poverty, however, we find single and moderation effects. Thus, spatial distance, conflict as well as normative solidarity increase income poverty in adulthood, while emotional and associative solidarity decrease it. Further, higher spatial distance as well as lower norms of intergenerational solidarity can be found to decrease the association between economic deprivation in childhood and income poverty in adulthood, thus, the intergenerational reproduction of poverty.

Grandparenting with Media

Galit Nimrod1, Dafna Lemish2, Nelly Elias1

1Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel; 2Rutgers the State University of New Jersey

Although many grandparents are involved in caring for their grandchildren, they were completely ignored in previous research on mediation of children’s media use. Informed by the Grandfather Involvement Framework and the Process Model of the Determinants of Grandparenting, the present study aims at exploring variations among grandparents in mediation styles and in their grandparental self-esteem. The study was based on a survey of 356 grandparents of young children, who reported taking care of their grandchildren at least once a week. Analysis identified three groups of grandparents according to their mediation styles: Highly involved, non-restrictive and less involved. Mediation styles correlated significantly with grandchildren’s age, as well as with contextual factors, activity patterns, motivations for media use while caregiving and its outcomes. Furthermore, the less involved mediators reported significantly lower self-esteem than did those in the other groups, even after controlling for all differentiating variables. Results suggest that mediation of grandchildren’s media uses may be considered integral to grandparental involvement in general and may be beneficial to both generations.

The Role of Grandparent Involvement on the Wellbeing of Parents

Catherine McNamee

Queen's University Belfast, United Kingdom

Although grandparents are arguably becoming increasingly important for contemporary families, few studies have examined the effects of grandparent involvement on the wellbeing of parents. The present study addresses this gap in the literature by examining to what extent does the type and extent of grandparent involvement (frequency of contact, assistance with childcare, and financial assistance) influence various aspects of wellbeing of parents. Wellbeing is a broad term that has many facets with potentially distinct associations with parenthood, therefore multiple dimensions of wellbeing are considered: psychological distress, life satisfaction, and relationship quality. The study utilizes the Millennium Cohort Survey (MCS) and Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) to investigate if grandparent involvement influences parental wellbeing. SEM is used to establish the underlying lying structure of parental wellbeing. Latent growth curve (LGC) modeling allows for examination of the couple data on the relation between early grandparent involvement and parental wellbeing. The analysis allows me to predict multiple facets of wellbeing from grandparent support estimate and consider the interrelations between the grandparent involvement measures, and account for the shared and the dynamic relationships of couples reporting on the same construct (wellbeing) by using Actor Partner Interaction Model. Grandparent involvement and wellbeing may vary between parents within couples depending on whose side of the family the exchange is coming from (Högnäs & Carlson 2010); therefore, the wellbeing and grandparent involvement perspectives of both parents is considered. Additionally, I consider the impact of the wellbeing of mothers and fathers on each other. Partners’ actions and feelings can influence each other, which can affect the quality the relationship and individual wellbeing (Minuchin 1988).

The Role of Grandparents in the Work/Life Balance Strategies of Spanish Families

Gerardo Meil1, Jesús Rogero-García2, Pedro Romero-Balsas3

1Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain; 2Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain; 3Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain

During the last years, grandparents’ childcare has facilitated Spanish parents’ access to paid work. Concurrently, the use of formal childcare services and parental leave have also increased. The aim of this work is to identify the main factors associated with receipt of grandparents’ childcare on a daily basis. The study sample included 2,304 parents with at least one child under 13 years old from the Survey of Parental Leaves’ Use in Spain 2012. Two kind of factors were analyzed: (1) individual characteristics: parents labor situation, parental leaves use, age of youngest child, and hours devoted to care by both parents; and (2) characteristics of the context: household income, number of generations living in the household, number of children, hours of paid domestic work and formal childcare services use. Our results indicate that families with a higher economic position use grandparents’ childcare less frequently. Grandparents’ childcare is a fundamental resource among families with both parents unemployed and among single-parent families. In two-parent families, the use of formal childcare services, paid domestic work and parental leaves are associated to a less frequent grandparents’ childcare. In general terms, our results suggest that a growing diversification of childcare resources may influence a reduction in grandparents’ childcare.