European Journal of Ageing

, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp 200–207 | Cite as

Grandparents use of new communication technologies in a European perspective

  • T. Quadrello
  • H. Hurme
  • J. Menzinger
  • P. K. Smith
  • M. Veisson
  • S. Vidal
  • S. Westerback
Original Investigation

Abstract

This study examined the pattern of use of different forms of contact between grandparents and grandchildren, and especially the use of new technologies (SMS, e-mail) and factors affecting this. Questionnaire data are reported from 408 grandparents in the UK, Spain, Finland and Estonia, regarding contacts with grandchildren mostly in the 10–15-year age range. Face-to-face contact remained the most frequent mean, followed closely by landline telephone; there was moderate use of mobile phones, and many used letters/cards occasionally; and a minority used SMS and e-mails (about one-half to one-third of those with mobile phones, and networked computers, respectively). When contacting grandchildren, most grandparents accumulate different forms of contact, but others compensate some forms of contact. There were no differences by age of grandparent, but grandmothers made more use of e-mail than grandfathers, as did more highly educated grandparents and those with older grandchildren. Implications for use of Information and Communication Technology by older people are discussed.

Keywords

Intergenerational relations Grandparents ICT 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Quadrello
    • 1
  • H. Hurme
    • 2
  • J. Menzinger
    • 3
  • P. K. Smith
    • 1
  • M. Veisson
    • 4
  • S. Vidal
    • 3
  • S. Westerback
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Psychology, Unit for School and Family StudiesGoldsmiths CollegeLondonUK
  2. 2.Unit of Developmental PsychologyÅbo Akademi UniversityVaasaFinland
  3. 3.Area of SociologyCarlos III UniversityMadridSpain
  4. 4.Faculty of Educational SciencesTallinn UniversityTallinnEstonia

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