Grandparent-grandchild relationships and perceptions of grandparent goal influence in emerging adulthood

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Child and Family Studies


Grandparent-grandchild relationships, Goal influence, Emerging adulthood

Subject Categories

Developmental Psychology | Family, Life Course, and Society | Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Social Psychology | Sociology


This study examined grandchildren's perceptions of grandparent influences on grandchildren's goal preferences as a function of grandparent-grandchild relationship dynamics during emerging adulthood. Drawing on the conceptual model of intergenerational solidarity model developed by Bengston and colleagues, this study focused on elucidating the relationship between emotional closeness, and structural, consensual, and associational solidarity and perceived grandparent influence on grandchildren's extrinsic and intrinsic goal preferences. The sample consisted of 404 emerging adults, between the ages of 18 and 25. The results indicated that the solidarity model was a significant predictor of perceived levels of grandparent influence, with emotional closeness emerging as the solidarity variable exerting the greatest influence on grandchildren's perceptions of grandparent goal influence. These findings demonstrate the important role of grandparents in the identity development process in emerging adulthood.


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