When couples become grandparents: Factors associated with the growth of each spouse

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10 Scopus citations


This correlational study examined perceived personal growth among couples who recently became grandparents, investigating its association with attachment style, self-differentiation, and the perceived growth of the spouse. In addition, the background variables of age, education, and physical health were examined. The sample consisted of 206 Israeli couples who were approached six to 24 months after the birth of their first grandchild. The results showed that grandmothers reported higher growth than grandfathers. Lower education, lower attachment anxiety, and higher perceived growth of the spouse were associated with the perceived growth of both men and women, in the regression analysis. Older age and lower physical health, along with higher self-differentiation among less educated women, were also found to be connected to the perceived personal growth of grandmothers. Furthermore, higher avoidant attachment was associated with less growth among healthier grandparents and with more perceived growth among less healthy grandfathers. Hence, both the individual's internal resources and his or her partner's perception of growth were associated with self-reported growth in the transition to grandparenthood. The study not only sheds further light on the potential for growth inherent in the transition to grandparenthood, but also provides the first indications of associations related to sharing this experience with a spouse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-36
Number of pages11
JournalSocial Work Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2013


  • couples
  • growth
  • transition to grandparenthood


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