Relationships with Grandparents and Grandchildren’s Well-being after Parental Divorce

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Grandparents are often considered as providing important resources in times of family crisis. Little is known, however, about the influence of grandparents on the well-being of grandchildren after parental divorce. This article investigates the association between the quality of relationships with grandparents and grandchildren’s subjective well-being. Using data from the study ‘Divorce in Flanders’, the authors compare 567 grandchildren with divorced and 238 with married parents regarding four indicators of subjective well-being (life satisfaction, self-esteem, mastery, and depressive feelings) and also examine variation within the group with divorced parents. Results show that the strength of grandchild–grandparent relationships is positively associated with grandchildren’s subjective well-being and that having a very good relationship with a grandparent matters even more for grandchildren whose parents have divorced. Moreover, grandchildren who experience frequent conflicts between divorced parents seem to benefit most from close grandparent relationships.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)757–771
Number of pages15
JournalEuropean Sociological Review
Issue number6
Early online date24 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019


  • grandparents grandchildren divorce child well-being


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