Gender and Ethnicity as Moderator of Young Adults' Perception with Their Mother and Grandparents
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Limited research is available on adolescent-grandparent relationships, especially from the young adult perspective and across ethnicities. This study explores the perception of the child-mother and the grandchild-grandparent relationships across Caucasian, African American and Hispanic ethnicities as well as the role young adults' gender plays in predicting the quality of the grandchild-grandparent relationship. This study was based on answers to a structured questionnaire from a sample of274 undergraduate students aged 19-24 at a large Midwestern university. Mixed results suggest that perception of the relationship is moderated by ethnicity and gender. Findings suggest that young adults of Caucasian descent perceived a more positive relationship with their mothers as compared with young adults from African American and Hispanic descent. Contrary to what was hypothesized, findings show no significant differences that indicate that in general, young females have a more positive perception of their relationship with their grandparents than young adult males. In addition, participants reported closer relationships with their maternal grandparents than their paternal grandparents. However, the current findings did not support that the relationship between Hispanic young adult males and their paternal grandfather would be the strongest of all grandchild-grandparent relationships. This may have been due to the relatively small sample of African American and Hispanic American males in the study, as direction of the effect was correct. Overall, results emphasized the value of examining the grandparents' role in the lives of young adults.