The Joy of Grandparenting: A Qualitative Analysis of Grandparents

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ABSTRACT: According to Socioemotional Selectivity Theory (Carstensen, 1995), people become emotionally selective as they grow older and therefore choose to sustain primarily their closest relationships (i.e., family relationships), including their grandparent-granchild relationships. Thus, to provide practical suggestions for grandchildren and parents of grandchildren, the purpose of this study was to examine what grandparents (N = 104) find most rewarding about being grandparents. The participants completed a survey in which they were asked to answer the question: “In your experience, what are the best parts of being a grandparent?” The 586 responses were coded in accordance with Braun and Clarke’s (2006) recommendations for thematic analyses, which resulted in five distinct themes: maturation, mutual affection, pride, shared activities, and teaching and learning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-145
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Intergenerational Relationships
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Archaeology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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