Grandparents can be very beneficial in families with less well-off parents
Photo: Simon Blackley. Creative Commons.

Grandparents may be a resource in families with less well-off parents

By Child & Family Blog Editor and , | February 2017 

A study of over 27,000 people in 10 countries has found children likely to do better in education if their grandparents are better educated and better off.

A study involving over 27,000 people in 10 countries has found that children are more likely to succeed in education if their grandparents are better educated and better off financially.

The link is stronger if the children’s parents of the children are lacking in financial and/or education, suggesting that grandparents may be providing substitute support in some less-wealthy families.

This research suggests that practitioners who work with vulnerable families should assess grandparents’ as well as parents’ resources.

The picture is mixed across countries and doesn’t correlate with known differences in culture and welfare provision –generating a bit of a mystery for future social researchers to figure out!

  • In Denmark, Germany and Israel, both grandparents’ education and financial resources correlate with a child’s educational achievement.
  • In Sweden, Netherlands, Belgium and Slovenia, there is no correlation.
  • In Italy, there is a correlation only with grandparents’ financial resources.
  • In the Czech Republic and Luxembourg, there is a correlation only with grandparents’ education.

References

Deindl C & Tieben N (2016), Resources of grandparents: Educational outcomes across three generations in Europe and Israel, Journal of Marriage and Family

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