Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford


Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_2347-1


Grandparenting including serving as alloparents may be beneficial for the development of the grandchildren and may provide role satisfaction, yet the longer duration of caregiving comes at a cost for grandparents.



Becoming a grandparent can be one of the most jubilating moments in one’s life. In many cultures, grandfathers and grandmothers are revered and called “big father/big mother,” “big papa/big mama.” The addition of a new family member completes the basic intergenerational triangle of the family that includes grandparents, parents, and grandchildren (Van Ranst et al. 1995). Grandparents find a grandparenting role to be generative, meaningful, productive, and full of satisfaction (Thiele and Whelan 2006), while communities and macro culture consider the role of...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Human DevelopmentSUNY OswegoOswegoUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Kevin M. Kniffin
    • 1
  1. 1.Cornell UniversityIthacaUSA