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King, Valarie & Elder, Glen H., Jr. (1998). Perceived Self-Efficacy and Grandparenting. Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 53(5), S249-257.


Objectives: This study identifies grandparents who feel efficacious in their role and the consequences of such beliefs for actual involvement with an adolescent grandchild.
Methods: The sample of 883 grandparents comes from two related studies of rural families, the Iowa Youth and Families Project and the Iowa Single Parent Project. Our research questions are answered by testing a series of bivariate and multivariate regression models.
Results: Results show much variability in perceptions of being able to influence one's grandchild. Church attendance, knowledge of one's own grandparents, a farm history, a strong grandparent-parent bond, proximity, and having fewer grandchildren emerged as significant predictors of grandparents' perceptions of efficacy. Grandparents with strong self-efficacious beliefs play an active role in the lives of their grandchildren.
Discussion: With an increasing number of grandparents taking responsibilities for their grandchildren, a greater understanding of the experiences and resources that enhance their sense of personal efficacy in this role warrants priority in generational studies.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences


King, Valarie
Elder, Glen H., Jr.