Grandparent Satisfaction and Family Structure: a Descriptive Study of Multigenerational Families in Denton County, Texas
Description: This descriptive study of 45 multi-generational families contributes empirical knowledge about grandparent-grandchild relationships. A questionnaire was developed and completed by 74 subjects who were part of a randomly selected sample taken from a tax roll of homeowners over age 65 in Denton County, Texas. The responses provide information which expands the existing data base in the area of grandparenting. The study pinpoints areas in the grandparenting literature which need refinement and contributes data to those areas, rather than producing a set of conclusions. Areas as yet undocumented or inadequately documented in the literature are identified as the following: (a) family structural composition; (b) grandparents' personal characteristics; (c) selected aspects of grandparent-grandchild contact; and (d) satisfaction with the grandparent role. Data for these areas should help reveal factors having an impact on grandparent-grandchild relationships. A base for further investigation in these areas is established, and data are also analyzed to determine satisfaction or lack of satisfaction with grandparenting. The seventy-four subjects, from 45 households, included 44 grandmothers and 30 grandfathers. The number of generations per family was used as the base to report the findings. The study substantiates other research on grandparenting, particularly in the area of timing of grand-parenthood. Data collected in this study support the view that the grandparent's chronological age and the time in his or her life cycle when grandchildren appear (role entry), religious affiliation, lineage, and frequency of contact all contribute to satisfaction with the role of grandparent. Almost all of the respondents described themselves as satisfied grandparents and indicated their pride in and pleasure derived from their grandchildren. A strong relationship between satisfaction and any one variable studied is not identified. The major contribution of the study lies in the descriptive detail and in ruling out any one characteristic as "the one variable" that really ...
Date: May 1989
Creator: Hettinger, Barbara J. (Barbara Jane)
Partner: UNT Libraries