- Visitors & Friends
- About the University
Grandparents Contribute to Children's Well-being
Research at the University of Oxford has shown how grandparents play a vital role in children's well-being and the results have been informing UK family policy.
Samantha Smethers, Chief Executive, Grandparents Plus
This study has been instrumental in helping us to redefine the family for policy makers and service providers, focussing on the role of grandparents in children's lives.
With changing family patterns, increased life expectancy, growing numbers of dual-worker households and higher rates of family breakdown, grandparents are now playing an increasing role in their grandchildren's lives.
Research by Professor Ann Buchanan from the Department of Social Policy and Social Work showed that a high level of grandparental involvement increases the well-being of children. A study of more than 1,500 children showed that those with a high level of grandparental involvement had fewer emotional and behavioural problems.
The role of grandparents is currently unaccounted for in UK family policy, and grandparents have no legal rights to see their grandchildren. However, Professor Buchanan's study has demonstrated that their involvement is strongly associated with reduced adjustment difficulties in all family types, but particularly so amongst adolescences from divorced or separated families.