Children's perspectives on their relationships with grandparents following parental separation: a longitudinal study

L J Bridges, A E C Roe, J Dunn, T G O'Connor

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50 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Following parental separation, children's closeness to grandparents has been reported to be linked to their family situation and differences in adjustment. This relationship has not been investigated longitudinally. This study investigated children's relationships with grandparents over time in different family settings, and associations with intergenerational relationships. Data from 385 children, with longitudinal analyses on 140, were collected at two time points over a five-year period. Associations between closeness of the child-grandparent relationship and adjustment were not found at the later time point. There was a mean drop in frequency of contact over time, but not in closeness. However there was stability of individual differences in both frequency of contact and closeness; closeness to the maternal grandmother was particularly stable for children living with a single mother Intergenerational links were found with the mother's own childhood experiences, particularly in single-mother families. Following parental separation, the matrifocal bias in kinship patterns was accentuated
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)539 - 554
Number of pages16
JournalSocial Development
Volume16
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2007

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