BEING GRANDPARENT IN CHINA GREECE AND POLAND: BEHAVIORAL AND AFFECTIVE INVOLVEMENT IN GRANDCHILDREN
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The study aimed at exploring the meaning of having grandchildren, of roles played and emotions experienced by grandparents towards grandchildren in China, Greece and Poland. The research questionnaire was constructed by the authoress. In all three cultures the fact of having grandchildren had an overwhelming positive meaning, beneficial psychologically and socially. Grandparents from China, Greece and Poland fulfilled two basic roles towards grandchildren: recreational-educational and caring. Chinese grandparents performed these two roles with the same frequency, whereas the recreational-educational role dominated in Poland and Greece. Common result was bigger engagement of grandmothers in activities concerning grandchildren. Additionally, contact with grandchildren provided grandparents with a Positive emotional balance, the highest felt by Polish grandparents, the lowest by Chinese. Analyses revealed that main variables responsible for these differences were two cultural dimensions from GLOBE project (House et al., 2004): Power distance and Humane orientation, both as negative predictors of Positive emotional balance. The study suggests that in cultures characterized by traditionally extended family systems grandchildren play positive and crucial role in their grandparents lives.
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