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The Effect of Grandparental Care on Men’s and Women’s Parenting Practices in Taiwan

Abstract

Although some studies have revealed a generational conflict over childrearing, few quantitative empirical studies have examined whether the care provided by grandparents affects the parenting practices of their adult sons and daughters. Using data from the Panel Survey of Family Dynamics (PSFD), this study investigates the effect of grandparents’ caregiving on the parenting practices of their adult children in Taiwan. Our results show that the care assistance provided by grandparents significantly affects both fathers’ and mothers’ childrearing practices. All else being equal, when their own parents provide more than 20 days of care per month, fathers and mothers are both more likely to be highly authoritative. Interestingly, the care assistance from parents-in-law only significantly leads to mothers’ more likely to show authoritative but also some permissive practices. The findings suggest that, while grandparents are an important source of care help, the differences in child-rearing practices between generations might entail inconsistent parenting practices. Our results also suggest the differential effect of care from paternal and maternal grandparents on mothers might be linked to different experiences of authority structures between men and women.

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Acknowledgements

This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (awardee: Man-Yee Kan, grant number 771736) and from the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST 107-2410-H-305-032-MY2).

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Correspondence to Tsui-o Tai.

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Tai, To., Tu, HC. The Effect of Grandparental Care on Men’s and Women’s Parenting Practices in Taiwan. Population Ageing 14, 465–485 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12062-021-09324-8

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12062-021-09324-8

Keywords

  • Parenting practices
  • Grandparental care
  • Multigenerational households
  • Authoritative
  • Authoritarian