Changes in Grandparent-Grandchild Relationships during the COVID-19 Pandemic and Lockdown: Associations with Mental Health in College Students

Peggy S. Keller, Taylor M. Stumbo, Kyle P. Rawn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study examines changes in college students‘ relationships with their grandparents during the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown, and whether these relationship changes were associated with college students‘ coping with the pandemic and mental health. 441 college students (76% female) completed an online survey. The majority of participants reported changes to the grandparent-grandchild relationship. Reduced contact and closeness was the most commonly reported change and was related to greater participant COVID-19 concerns and anticipatory grief for grandparents. A small number of participants reported increased closeness, which was related to their lower anxiety and depression. For younger students, grandparent contracting COVID-19 was associated with lower COVID-19 concerns and greater negative reactions to lockdown restrictions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Intergenerational Relationships
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was not supported by any specific grant.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Keywords

  • anticipatory grief
  • COVID-19
  • grandchild
  • grandparent
  • lockdown
  • mental health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Archaeology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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