Volume 39 - Article 42 | Pages 1105–1150

Family histories and the demography of grandparenthood

By Bruno Arpino, Jordi Gumà, Albert Julià

Print this page  Facebook  Twitter

 

 
Date received:22 Nov 2017
Date published:29 Nov 2018
Word count:6178
Keywords:family trajectories, fertility, grandparents, life course analysis, partnership, sequence analysis
DOI:10.4054/DemRes.2018.39.42
 

Abstract

Background: Grandparenthood is an important phase of life for many individuals, and the grandparent role has consequences on younger generations and grandparents themselves.

Objective: Despite the importance of the grandparent role, little is known about the demography of grandparenthood. In this study, we examine the variability of demographic aspects of grandparenthood (being a grandparent, number of grandchildren, having at least one young grandchild) according to family (partnership and fertility) histories.

Methods: Using retrospective data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), we employ sequence and cluster analyses to group individuals according to similar patterns of fertility and partnership histories observed between age 15 and 49. In a second step, we use logistic and Poisson regressions to quantify how demographic aspects of grandparenthood vary across the identified family clusters at different ages and by gender.

Results: Family histories are greatly heterogeneous with respect to timing, quantum, and probability of experiencing certain events. This heterogeneity is reflected in a strong variability in the probability of having (young) grandchildren and their number at different ages across the clusters of family trajectories.

Contribution: We provide a detailed profile of three demographic characteristics of grandparenthood that significantly influence the opportunity structure for the development of the grandparent role. Our study quantifies considerable heterogeneities in the demography of grandparenthood according to different typologies of family histories and has important implications for the understanding of current and possible future developments of the grandparent role.

Author's Affiliation

Bruno Arpino - Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain [Email]
Jordi Gumà - Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain [Email]
Albert Julià - Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain [Email]

Other articles by the same author/authors in Demographic Research

» Navigating between two cultures: Immigrants' gender attitudes toward working women
Volume 38 - Article 35

» Who brings home the bacon? The influence of context on partners' contributions to the household income
Volume 35 - Article 41

» Grandparenting and mothers’ labour force participation: A comparative analysis using the Generations and Gender Survey
Volume 27 - Article 3

Most recent similar articles in Demographic Research

» Who becomes a grandparent – and when? Educational differences in the chances and timing of grandparenthood
Volume 37 - Article 29    | Keywords: fertility, grandparents

» From never partnered to serial cohabitors: Union trajectories to childlessness
Volume 36 - Article 55    | Keywords: fertility, sequence analysis

» The fertility of recent migrants to England and Wales
Volume 34 - Article 36    | Keywords: fertility, life course analysis

» Are there gender differences in family trajectories by education in Finland?
Volume 33 - Article 44    | Keywords: family trajectories, sequence analysis

» Unstable work histories and fertility in France: An adaptation of sequence complexity measures to employment trajectories
Volume 32 - Article 28    | Keywords: fertility, sequence analysis