Exploring the important role grandparents play in a child’s life will be the subject of a new study underway at the University of Newcastle.
With increasing numbers of single and working parents, the role of many grandparents has changed significantly over recent years.
Senior researcher Dr Jennifer St George, from the University’s Family Action Centre, said the research would focus particularly on identifying the expectations, needs and challenges of grandfathers.
“In order to better understand how grandfathers construct their current roles and relationships, we want to explore grandparents’ perceptions of fathering and grandfathering in their extended families,” Dr St George said.
“The research will help us understand individual grandfathers’ experiences and discover how implications such as retirement, well-being and their earlier fathering experiences impact on their current role.
“Grandparenting is receiving increasing attention in society particularly in relation to grandparents having responsibility for the full-time care of their grandchildren. The role of full-time grandparents is challenging and often lacking in acknowledgement from policy makers and service providers.
“Overall, this study will help us understand the many and varied roles grandparents play in supporting family relationships.”
Researchers are currently recruiting grandparents who have some involvement in the life of a primary school-aged grandchild, from weekend visits to almost full-time care.
In two separate interviews, both the grandmother and grandfather will be asked questions by research staff about their parenting and grandparenting experiences.
Interviews will be conducted in the greater Newcastle and Taree areas.
For more information about the study or to register your interest, telephone Dr Jennifer St George on 02 4921 6690.
For interviews: Dr Jennifer St George on 02 4921 6690.
Photo opportunity: Study participants, from Newcastle and Cessnock, are available for interview/photographs upon request.
Media contact: Megan Cunneen, Media and Public Relations, 02 4921 5351 or 0448 369 871.