Grandparenthood is considered a normative stage of adult development; young people expect to become parents and then grandparents as part of the life cycle. Moreover, many grandparents these days live long enough to watch their grandchildren grow up. Given that grandchildren face distinct developmental tasks at different ages, grandparents’ emotional closeness, contact, and support exchanges may vary with younger grandchildren and adult grandchildren. Grandparents often experience strong emotional closeness and offer child care when grandchildren are young. They may serve supplementary roles to parents in these early years or in some instances replace the parents as primary caregivers.

As grandchildren enter adolescence and transition to adulthood, grandparents may experience decreased frequency of contact and involvement with these grandchildren. Grandparents may remain emotionally close to some adult ...

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