Grandparent involvement and preschoolers’ social adjustment in Chinese three-generation families: Examining moderating and mediating effects

Publication Title

Children and Youth Services Review



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Given the fact that grandparents share the responsibility for child rearing in contemporary China, little study has explored the relationship between grandparent involvement and grandchildren's social adjustment in the three-generation family (a child lives with both parents and one or more grandparents). The present study asked parents of 300 preschoolers (50.7% boys, age range from 38 to 74 months) in Chinese three-generation families to report their children's social adjustment and grandparents’ involvement. The results showed that the relationship between grandparent involvement and children's outcomes was moderated by children's approach/withdrawal tendencies and mediated by perceived parenting stress. Specifically, the influence of grandparent involvement that appeared to facilitate the positive impact on children's social skills and reduce children's internalizing and externalizing behavioral problems was only for children who tend to withdraw, not for children who tend to approach. Grandparent involvement may help to relieve perceived parenting stress, and thus, indirectly affect children's social outcomes. These findings highlight the potential positive influence of grandparent involvement on preschoolers’ social adjustment and provide a new perspective for family interventions.

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Behavioral problems, Early childhood, Grandparent involvement, Social skills, Three-generation family


Department of Curriculum and Instruction (CI)