The Implications of Providing Grandchild Care for Grandparents’ Marital Quality

TitleThe Implications of Providing Grandchild Care for Grandparents’ Marital Quality
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsWang, S, Mutchler, JE
JournalJournal of Family Issues
ISBN Number0192-513X
KeywordsChild Care, dyadic relationship/quality/satisfaction, gender and family, intergenerational, quantitative

This study distinguished among types of grandchild care (i.e., co-residence, high and low levels of babysitting, and no care), and examined their associations with grandparents? marital quality. The sample consisted of 7,267 married grandparents aged 40 years and over from the 2008, 2010, and 2012 waves of the Health and Retirement Study. Providing grandchild care generally undermined grandparents? marital quality; however, different types of grandchild care affected different aspects of marital quality. The negative effects of providing grandchild care were more pronounced among grandmothers than grandfathers. Grandmothers providing high-level babysitting care were at especially higher risk of experiencing marital strain among the caregiver groups. Findings suggest that providing grandchild care appears to be more of a stressor than a source of reward with respect to shaping grandparents? marital quality. Sensitivity to such impact on marital quality may be usefully incorporated into developing supports and services meant for grandparent caregivers.

Citation Key10916