Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Volume 33, Issue 1, February by Paul Bloom & Barbara L. Finlay (Editors)

By Paul Bloom & Barbara L. Finlay (Editors)

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For example, a monetary transfer to a child with a new-born grandchild may be motivated by a desire to invest in the grandchild by allowing its parents to make purchases that ultimately enhance the wellbeing of the grandchild. I would also add that the character of transfers should be sensitive to the age of the grandchild, such that initial investments may be in the form of direct grandparental care such as babysitting, to monetary transfers later in life for assistance in higher education. Most of the studies in anthropology are demographic, in that they show correlations between grandmother presence and either enhanced survivorship of grandchildren or greater fertility of mothers.

Source: German Aging Study (Tesch-Ro¨mer et al. 2002). pdf using the German Aging Survey, I found that the existence of grandchildren, and even of children, does not make elderly people more satisfied with their lives (Pashos 2009). However, grandchildren were very often listed as persons who give great pleasure and happiness. Elderly people without grandchildren were much less able to name persons who gave pleasure and happiness to them, especially with increasing age (Fig. 1). Grandparents also were on average somewhat less lonely than their grandchildless counterparts.

In addition, we recruited 31 of the grandparents who provided childcare and asked them to complete the Loyola Generativity Scale and to report their own goals, their respect for their adult children’s goals, and affect quality. As the Berlin metropolitan area has a good childcare infrastructure, none of the grandparents were daily caregivers. Findings indicate that grandparental generativity, goals related to wanting to leave an imprint on others’ lives and wanting to feel needed, and respect for adult children’s goals were positively associated with grandparents’ desire to provide childcare.

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