Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Human Development and Family Studies

Department name when degree awarded

Family and Human Development

Committee Chair(s)

Glen O. Jenson


Glen O. Jenson


Jay Schvaneveldt


Carolle Bell


The purpose of this study was to examine the role of grandfather in the lives of his adolescent grandchildren. A survey design was used to (1) obtain demographic data, (2) determine how the two generations perceive each other, (3) identify the types and frequencies of interaction between grandfathers and their adolescent grandchildren, and (4) compare the conceptions of an ideal grandfather by the two classes of subjects. Data were gathered from 47 adolescents and their 61 grandfathers. Most of the subjects were from the dominant religion in the Wasatch front area.

The results confirm a viable adolescent grandchild/grandfather relationship. Residential distance affects this relationship, but a majority of grandchildren enjoy both geographical and emotional closeness to a grandfather.

The generations exhibit generally positive perceptions of each other and demonstrate mutual enjoyment of the relationship. Adolescent grandchildren find grandfather enjoyable to be with and grandfather is pleased with the moral development of his adolescent grandchildren. Some personal habits or behaviors of each generation are distasteful to the other.

The generations exchange gifts at least once a year and visit either in person or by telephone on a regular basis. They seldom argue or get angry with one another, but neither do they join regularly in games, sports, or trips. Both generations express a need for increased contact and generally agree on the type of relationship desired.

Insufficient evidence was found to conclude that the perception of the grandfather role by adolescent aged individuals varies by age or by sex. some trends were found, however, indicating a need for further research particularly in the area of differences by sex of the grandchild. A difference by age in grandfather's perception of adolescents or his perception of the grandfather role was also not supported.