Grandparental co-residence, parental involvement, and educational outcomes among children

Antti O. Tanskanen, Mirkka Danielsbacka & Jani Erola


Grandparental co-residence is often found to associate with improved grandchild well-being. However, studies have shown that the effect is not always positive. This could be explained by the fact that in some circumstances grandparents compete with grandchildren over parental time and other resources. We studied the assumption using data from the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) from 20 Western countries (n = 73,346 children at age 15). According to the results grandparental presence was associated with lower levels of parental involvement and decreased educational test scores among adolescents. Moreover, grandparental presence was more negatively associated with outcomes in adolescents when parental involvement was lower rather than higher. Finally, we found support that the grandparental co-residence is a mediator of the association between parental involvement and child outcomes. These results are discussed with the reference to local resource competition model.

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