Date of Award

May 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Nancy Burrell

Committee Members

Mike Allen, Sang-Yeon Kim, Erin Ruppel, Lindsay Timmerman


Adult Grandchiild, Family, Grandparent, Intergenerational Relationship, Self-Disclosure, Solidarity


As life expectancy increases, the length of time in both the grandparent and adult grandchild role increase. The grandparent-adult grandchild relationship is integral to the health and preservation of the family system. The sample for this quantitative study included 62 grandparent-adult grandchild dyads, 124 individuals. Findings indicate that both the grandparents and the adult grandchildren experienced meaning and burden in the grandparent-adult grandchild relationship. The six different types of solidarity (affectual, consensual, structural, associational, functional, and normative) had varying associations with relational satisfaction for the grandparents and adult grandchildren. Although there are several self-disclosures in a close grandparent-adult grandchild relationship, there are still some conversational topics avoided, such as finances and sexual relations. Both the grandparent and adult grandchild reported that the lower amount of negative stereotypes experienced in the relationship, the more relational satisfaction experienced.