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WHY DIVORCED GRANDFATHERS PROVIDE GRANDCHILD CARE LESS OFTEN THAN MARRIED GRANDFATHERS?
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Grandparents are becoming increasingly important figures in the lives of their grandchildren and are often in the position of care providers. However, divorced grandparents and grandfathers in particular are less likely to provide care for their grandchildren. This article examines the reasons for this. Drawing on the literature on this subject, the authors first argue that divorced grandfathers are less likely than their married counterparts both to provide care and to provide care often. This may be because compared to married grandfathers they tend to: (1) have a larger number of children and grandchildren (because they often repartner after divorce); (2) live farther away from their offspring; (3) have less frequent contact with their offspring; and (4) be in poorer health. Using Czech SHARE (Survey of Health Ageing and Retirement in Europe) data from waves two and four, the authors show that divorced grandfathers in the Czech Republic are less likely to care for their grandchildren and provide frequent care primarily owing to the fact that they have less frequent contact with their children. The authors found no support for the assumption that the negative effect of divorce can be explained by the number of children or grandchildren divorced grandparents have, by their geographical distance from offspring or by their subjective health.
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