According to a new study, grandparents’ support, such as the amount of childcare or financial support they provide, may be diminished by the negative experiences of the grandchildren and their families. The study was published in the journal “the Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.”
It also showed that the support of the paternal grandparents decreased more than that of the maternal grandparents. Only the support of maternal grandmothers remains at the same level as the negative experiences increase. For example, these adverse early life experiences may include the economic struggles of the child’s family, parental divorce or substance abuse problems, or violence, injury, or illness that the grandchild is dealing with. The study focused on the combined effects of negative experiences rather than individual experiences. This study did not examine cases where the child’s primary caregiver was one of the grandparents.
Previous social science research has often assumed that grandparents will invest more in a grandchild’s life in response to negative life events in the child’s family. However, our results do not support this assumption, said senior researcher Samuli Helle of the University of Turku. According to the study, a grandchild’s future prospects of successful procreation can influence the grandparents’ willingness to provide support: Negative childhood experiences can affect the child’s future prospects of doing well in life and the future. production of successful offspring. At present, it is unclear how strong such effects are in humans, and there is a need for further research on the subject.
Previous research has shown that maternal grandparents, especially maternal grandmothers, are more supportive of a grandchild’s family than paternal grandparents. The importance of maternal grandmothers seems to persist even as the living conditions of the grandchildren deteriorate, Helle said. The new study is based on data from a survey responded to by English and Welsh adolescents aged 11-16.
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