Using cross-sectional data from the Netherlands Kinship Panel Study (N = 1,231), this study examines the relationship between grandchildren and their grandparents across early adulthood. Age is used as a proxy for change during the grandchild’s life course and the influence of major life course characteristics is examined. Results indicate that the majority of young adult grandchildren have contact with their grandparents, but the average frequency is low. Age differences in contact frequency suggest a decline in grandparent—grandchild contact across early adulthood. Multilevel analyses show that grandchildren’s employment status, partner, and parenthood status do not affect contact frequency with grandparents. Rather, the results point at the importance of the parental home for facilitating grandparent—grandchild contact as age-related differences are accounted for by whether grandchildren left the parental home. Furthermore, most of the variance in grandparent—grandchild contact is attributable to differences between family of the mother’s and family of the father’s side.

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Journal of Family Issues
Department of Sociology

Geurts, T., Poortman, A.-R., van Tilburg, T., & Dykstra, P. (2009). Contact between grandchildren and their grandparents in early adulthood. Journal of Family Issues, 30(12), 1698–1713. doi:10.1177/0192513X09336340