Meanings of Being a Grandparent

  • Leng Leng ThangEmail author
Part of the Social Indicators Research Series book series (SINS, volume 47)


Despite being a universally recognised social category – a role that an individual will assume when his or her offspring becomes a parent – what constitutes being a grandparent nevertheless encompasses some degree of vagueness, especially when compared with other the familial social roles of parent or child. This perhaps explains why questions relating to ‘what it means to be a grandparent’ have attracted much attention in the literature of grandparenthood.


Young Generation Family Continuity Asian Society Intergenerational Relationship Link Parent 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Armstrong, M. J. (2003). Is being a grandmother being old? Cross-cultural perspectives from New Zealand. Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology, 18, 185–202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bengtson, V. C., & Robertson, J. F. (Eds.). (1985). Grandparenthood. Beverley Hills: Sage.Google Scholar
  3. Cherlin, A., & Furstenberg, F. F. (1985). Styles and strategies of grandparenting. In V. L. Bengtson & J. F. Robertson (Eds.), Grandparenthood. Beverley Hills: Sage.Google Scholar
  4. Cherlin, A., & Furstenberg, F. F. (1986). The new American grandparent: A place in the family, a life apart. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  5. Clark, L., & Roberts, C. (2004). The meaning of grandparenthood and its contribution to the quality of life of older people. In A. Walker & C. H. Hennessy (Eds.), Growing older: Quality of life in old age. Berkshire: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Das Gupta, M., Jiang, Z., Li, B., Xie, Z., Chung, W., & Bae, H.-O. (2003). Why is son preference so persistent in East and South Asia? A cross-country study of China, India and the Republic of Korea. The Journal of Development Studies, 40(2), 153–187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Erikson, E. (1982). The life cycle completed: A review. New York: W. W. Norton & Co.Google Scholar
  8. Fung, H. H., Siu, C. M. Y., Choy, W. C. W., & McBride-Change, C. (2005). Meaning of grandparenthood: Do concerns about time and mortality matter? Ageing International, 30(2), 122–146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Goodfellow, J., & Laverty, J. (2003). Grandparents supporting working families: Satisfaction and choice in the provision of childcare. Family Matters, 66, 14–19. Australia Institute of Family Studies.Google Scholar
  10. Guttman, D. L. (1985). Deculturation and the American grandparent. In V. L. Bengtson & J. F. Robertson (Eds.), Grandparenthood. Beverly Hills: Sage.Google Scholar
  11. Hagestad, G. O. (1985). Continuity and connectedness. In V. L. Bengtson & J. F. Robertson (Eds.), Grandparenthood. Beverly Hills: Sage.Google Scholar
  12. Hagestad, G. O. (2003). Interdependent lives and relationships in changing times: A life-course view of families and aging. In R. A. Settersten Jr. (Ed.), Invitation to the life course: Toward new understandings of later life. New York: Baywood Publishing Co.Google Scholar
  13. Kamnuansipla, P., & Wongthanavasu, S. (2005). Grandparents’ relationships with grandchildren in Thailand. Journal of Intergenerational Relationships, 3(1), 49–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Muller, M. M., & Elder, G. H., Jr. (2003). Family contingencies across the generations: Grandparent-grandchild relationships in holistic perspective. Journal of Marriage and Family, 65(2), 404–417.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Muller, M. M., Wilhelm, B., & Elder, G. H., Jr. (2002). Variations in grandparenting. Research on Aging, 24, 360–388.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Neugarten, B. L., & Wienstein, K. K. (1964). The changing American grandparent. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 26, 199–204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Radcliffe-Brown, A. R. (1952). Structure and function in primitive society. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  18. Thang, L. L. (2010). Intergenerational relationships: Asian perspectives. In D. Dannefer & C. Phillipson (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of social gerontology. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  19. Troll, L. E. (1985). The contingencies of grandparenting. In V. L. Bengtson & J. F. Robertson (Eds.), Grandparenthood. Beverly Hills: Sage.Google Scholar
  20. Van Willigen, J., & Lewis, D. C. (2006). Culture as the context of aging. In H. Soon & J. Hendricks (Eds.), Handbook of Asian aging. New York: Baywood Publishing Co.Google Scholar
  21. Wiscott, R., & Kopera-Frye, K. (2000). Sharing the culture: Adult grandchildren’s perception of intergenerational relations. International Journal of Aging & Human Development, 51, 199–215.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Japanese StudiesNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore

Personalised recommendations