Grandparents play a vital role in providing care for their grandchildren in the United States. However, long-term sociodemographic changes, including lower fertility rates and changes in employment and technology, along with massive upheavals prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic are changing grandparenting in important ways. This research brief describes these long-term sociodemographic changes and uses in-depth interviews conducted before the pandemic to illustrate nine specific ways grandparenting is shifting in the U.S. It concludes by calling for more supportive social welfare programs to support working families and reduce the reliance on grandparents for meeting childcare and financial needs.
Grandparenting, COVID-19, Older Adults
Family, Life Course, and Society | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Sociology
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The author is an affiliate of the Center for Aging and Policy Studies, which receives funding from the National Institute on Aging (grant # 1P30AG066583). The author thanks Shannon Monnat, Lauren Mussig, and Alexandra Punch for edits on an earlier version of this brief.
National Institute on Aging
grant # 1P30AG066583
Harrington Meyer, Madonna, "Nine Ways Grandparenting is Changing with the COVID-19 Pandemic" (2022). Population Health Research Brief Series. 182.
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