Grandparents' expressions of affection for their grandchildren: examining grandchildren's relational attitudes and behaviors

Daniel H. Mansson, Melanie Booth-Butterfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

Following Affection Exchange Theory, the aims of this study were to (a) examine if grandparents' provision of affectionate communication to their grandchildren differs depending on grandparent-grandchild sex and relationship type (i.e., biological/nonbiological) and (b) to examine the relationships between grandparents' provision of affectionate communication and grandchildren's social relationship development. Undergraduate students (N = 184) completed the Affectionate Communication Index (Floyd & Morman, 1998) in reference to a specific grandparent as well as self-reported involvement in and attitudes toward close social relationships. Results indicated that grandparents express the same amount of affection for their granddaughters and grandsons, but biological grandparents express more affection for their grandchildren than do nonbiological grandparents. Results further indicated that grandparents' expressed affection was related positively to grandchildren's social activities but related negatively to grandchildren's discomfort with closeness and social isolation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)424-442
Number of pages19
JournalSouthern Communication Journal
Volume76
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication

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