The Meaning of Grandmothering and the Role of Grandparents in the Lives of Their Grandchildren in Different Living Arrangements

PORTIA QUIAMBAO CRUZ
M.A. Psychology (June 2012)
Department of Psychology


Abstract


This study was done to explore the meaning of grand parenting and the role in the lives if their grandchildren in different living arrangements. Eighteen (18) grandmothers, twelve (12) parents, and eighteen (18) grandchildren participated in the study. Three (3) sets of interview guide were used to gather the data. The researcher tried to know how living arrangements specifically co-residence, custodial, and visiting grandparents affect the meaning of grand parenting and the role of grandparents in raising their grandchildren, and be able ti characterize how these living arrangements yielded different roles of grandparents. The researcher also tried to know the meaning of grand parenting and grandparents' roles in the lives of their grandchildren from the two (2) stages of life, i.e. middle childhood and adolescence.


The result of the study shows that grandmothers take on domestic role in co-residence, custodial, and visiting grandparent arrangements. In a custodial living arrangement, grandparents take on the full responsibility of taking care of the grandchildren, fulfilling the role of parents, and being a friend. While in both co-residence and visiting arrangements, grandparents are seen as cronies, allies, and resource persons.


Furthermore result shows that the description of the relationship between the grandparents and grandchildren does not vary greatly from one living arrangement to another. It is only in visiting grandparents that one relationship was described as “not close” or even “distant”.


The result would indicate that grand parenting style which ranges from not strict to strict and indulgent does not differ significantly between two (2) age groups and among three (3) living arrangements. An implication of this study is the importance of grandparents in providing assistance regardless of the age of the grandchild or their living arrangement. Moreover just like grandparents, grandchildren in both age groups also prefer and value closeness with their grandparents.