A study conducted by Sara M. Moorman, assistant professor at Boston College accentuates the strength of the grandparent/grandchild bond. Her research concludes that grandparents who share a reciprocally supportive relationship with their adult grandchildren are happier and shower fear depressive symptoms than those who do not.
For the research, Moorman’s team studied 376 grandparents and 340 grandchildren. The average birth year of the grandparents was 1917, that of the grandchildren was 1964. Parcipants were tracked between 1985 and 2004; median ages were 77 and 31, respectively.
No Surprise Here
These findings certainly aren’t news to grandparents and grandkids who have mutual love for one another. Grandparents can have just as much influence over their grandchildren, maybe at times even more, than their parents do. They tend to be more calm and are better able to encourage their grandkids without sounding threatening.
No Strangers to Change
The challenges kids face today can seem overwhelming; changes brought about by technological advancement and social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram have been exponential.
But today’s grandparents aren’t strangers to dramatic paradigm shifts – many are baby boomers who were teenagers and young adults during the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights movement. Some were college students when riots broke out on campuses around the country in the 1960s. They can relate to the uncertainty their grandkids are facing and are living proof that such change is a part of life.
An added bonus: many grandparents are living longer and healthier lives than their own grandparents, insuring many years of a mutually beneficial relationships between grandparent and grandchild.