Grandparent support of adult grandchildren
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Many grandparents are involved in their young grandchildren’s lives, providing childcare and support in different ways, but we know little about grandparent support of adult grandchildren. The current study examined how often grandparents supported adult grandchildren and asked whether affection and family needs explained such support. Grandparents in The Family Exchanges Study Wave 2 (N = 198; Mage = 80.19) reported how often they provided multiple types of support to a focal adult grandchild. We generated subscales of emotional support and instrumental support and estimated multiple regression models to examine factors associated with the two subscales of grandparent support. Grandparents’ affection for an adult grandchild was associated with their provision of both emotional and instrumental support. In addition, grandparents were more likely to offer instrumental support when the parents were not employed for pay. Significant associations between grandparents’ affection and their support provision offer limited evidence for intergenerational solidarity theory, suggesting why some grandparents are highly engaged in adult grandchildren’s lives with frequent support. In addition, findings regarding parents’ lack of employment support the family watchdog model and illustrate that grandparents can play an important role in grandchildren’s lives in the face of family needs.