Publication details

Grandparenting after divorce : Variations across countries

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Year of publication 2018
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Advances in Life Course Research
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Social Studies

Web článek
Keywords Grandparents; Grandchildren; Divorce; Intergenerational relationships; Intergenerational exchange; Grandparental childcare
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Description We analyze the effect of grandparental divorce on the odds of providing grandparental childcare and investigate the variation of this effect across countries. The analysis is based on three-level hierarchical linear models, using data collected between 2004 and 2011 in 18 European countries as a part of the SHARE project. Being divorced is clearly associated with a significant reduction in the odds of providing any grandparental childcare in the past 12 months as well as in the odds of providing intensive (at least once a week) childcare. There is, however, significant variation in the divorce effect across countries. Looking at any grandparental childcare, we see that the negative effect of divorce is significantly weaker at higher divorce rates. The disruptive effect of divorce declines by almost 30 per cent when crude divorce rate increases by one standard deviation. We conclude that the level of conflict typically associated with divorce is lower when family disruption is more common, and its disruptive effect is weaker: intergenerational contact is thus preserved more often, and grandparental childcare provision is more common. Moreover, social institutions related to divorce and post-divorce arrangements may be more developed in countries with a higher incidence of divorce and thus they partially mitigate the negative effect of divorce. We do not confirm the same pattern when studying intensive grandparental childcare. Despite the low statistical significance, the trend seems to be the opposite: the effect of divorce becomes stronger with growing incidence of divorce. We attribute this latter trend to a complex re-organization of the lives of the divorcees that constrain their availability for intensive caregiving.
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