Grandparent-adult grandchild affection and consensus: Cross-generational and cross-ethnic comparisons

Roseann Giarrusso, Du Feng, Merril Silverstein, Vern L. Bengtson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Euro-American grandparents' ratings of affection for, and consensus with, their adult grandchildren have been found to be significantly greater than the grandchildren's ratings - a phenomenon known as the "intergenerational stake phenomenon." However, it is unclear whether this cross-generational difference in affection and perceived consensus exists for all gender dyads and for more collectivistic ethnic groups. This study compared levels of affection and consensus for Euro-American and Mexican American grandparents and their adult grandchildren. Results revealed that Euro-American grandmothers and grandfathers have significantly greater affection for their granddaughters than their granddaughters have for them; however, this gap was not found for grandsons. Among Mexican Americans, grandsons have significantly greater affection for their grandfathers than their grandfathers have for them. Analyses of covariance revealed that when grandchildren of either ethnic group perceived themselves to be similar in attitudes and values to their grandparents, the gap between level of affection was significantly smaller.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)456-477
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Family Issues
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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