Skip to main content


Monserud, Maria A. (2011). Changes in Grandchildren’s Adult Role Statuses and Their Relationships with Grandparents. Journal of Family Issues, 32(4), 425-451. PMCID: PMC3090644


This study examines the associations between grandchildren’s (N = 1,170) adult role transitions and their contact with, and closeness to, grandparents, by drawing on data from Waves 2 and 3 of the National Survey of Families and Households. Findings indicate that this relationship is frequently contingent on the nature of the adult role in question, a specific dimension of intergenerational solidarity (i.e., contact vs. closeness), lineage, and grandparent’s gender. The effect of grandchildren’s adult roles on grandparent—grandchild ties may also differ for grandsons and granddaughters. The explanations suggested by relevant theoretical perspectives—the saliency of different roles, the similarity of life experiences between generations, and evaluations of adult role transitions—only partially account for the patterns of these associations. Future research should take into consideration the mediating role of parents, the geographic proximity, social opportunities and constraints related to grandchildren’s adult roles, and grandparents’ assistance for grandchildren.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Journal of Family Issues


Monserud, Maria A.