Relationships with Grandparents and Grandchildren's Well-being after Parental Divorce

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Abstract

Grandparents are often considered as providing important resources in times of family crisis. Little is known, however, about the influence of grandparents on the well-being of grandchildren after parental divorce. This article investigates the association between the quality of relationships with grandparents and grandchildren's subjective well-being. Using data from the study 'Divorce in Flanders', the authors compare 567 grandchildren with divorced and 238 with married parents regarding four indicators of subjective well-being (life satisfaction, self-esteem, mastery, and depressive feelings) and also examine variation within the group with divorced parents. Results show that the strength of grandchild-grandparent relationships is positively associated with grandchildren's subjective well-being and that having a very good relationship with a grandparent matters even more for grandchildren whose parents have divorced. Moreover, grandchildren who experience frequent conflicts between divorced parents seem to benefit most from close grandparent relationships.

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Jappens, M., & Van Bavel, J. (2019). Relationships with Grandparents and Grandchildren’s Well-being after Parental Divorce. European Sociological Review, 35(6), 757–771. https://doi.org/10.1093/esr/jcz033

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