Contemporary midlife grandparenthood

Liat Kulik

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Grandparenthood has always been considered a basic human experience, and usually it is a positive one. The grandparent role is salient for most older individuals (Cherlin & Furstenberg, 1985), and some scholars have argued that its impact on the individual and family will continue to grow (Uhlenberg & Kirby, 1998). Today, grandparenting can span several decades, from the 30s in cases of teenage pregnancy, to over 100 years of age in cases of extreme longevity (Hagestad, 1985). Although it is difficult to determine whether the grandparent role is more significant than the roles of spouse and parent, there is no doubt that becoming a grandparent is a milestone in the life cycle, and, as such, it is of considerable relevance to self-identity. From a developmental perspective, because the transition to grandparenthood symbolizes a new stage of life, it is an especially important component of age identity (Bastida, 1987; Giarrusso et al., 1996). From a psychosocial perspective, the experience of grandparenting is influenced by synchronicity with other events in the older person's life (Troll, 1985). Accordingly, a person's behavior in the grandparent role and the significance attributed to grandparenting are influenced by other major life cycle events, such as changes in marital and work status.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWomen Over Fifty
Subtitle of host publicationPsychological Perspectives
PublisherSpringer US
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)0387463407, 9780387463407
StatePublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


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