Grandparent expectations of adult grandchildren

Nieli Langer, Fordham University


The study sought to investigate whether younger grandparents (65-74) have higher or lower levels of expectation of social support than older grandparents (75-91) of adult grandchildren. Social support includes emotional (expressive) and tangible (instrumental) assistance. 118 noninstitutionalized Jewish grandparents (65+) with a least one adult grandchild over 18 were randomly selected from an apartment house in Miami Beach. Factors mediating intergenerational solidarity, i.e., family structure, frequency of association, quality of affection, degree of exchange of services, and level of filial obligations provided the context for development of an instrument for determination of grandparent expectations. The study revealed that grandparents, regardless of age, expect and receive expressive support from adult grandchildren. Grandparents neither expect nor receive instrumental support. The high degree of congruence between the value systems and the behavorial reality of grandparent-adult grandchild relations suggests that the adult grandchild is a "functional" member of the grandparents' social support system.

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

Langer, Nieli, "Grandparent expectations of adult grandchildren" (1989). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9015949.