Association between positive grandparental involvement during childhood and generativity in late life among community-dwelling, cognitively intact, older adults in Japan

Geriatr Gerontol Int. 2021 Mar;21(3):331-337. doi: 10.1111/ggi.14139. Epub 2021 Feb 8.


Aim: Generativity is increasingly being recognized as a key element of healthy aging. The present study investigated whether children who received more positive grandparental involvement would show higher generativity in late life.

Methods: In 2017, 173 older adults living in Wakuya City (Miyagi Prefecture, Japan), and who showed normal cognition based on the Quick Mild Cognitive Impairment Screen, participated in a self-report life course survey (age range: 65-88 years). The association between positive grandparental involvement in childhood and generativity (measured by the Loyola Generativity Scale) was investigated using multiple linear regression adjusted for potential confounders.

Results: Compared with older adults without or had low positive grandparental involvement in childhood, a higher level of generativity was observed among those with medium (β = 1.93, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.24-3.62) and high positive grandparental involvement (β = 2.09, 95% CI: 0.32-3.87), adjusting for age, gender, memory performance, depressive symptoms, childhood socio-economic status and parental involvement. The significant dose-response association remained even after further adjusting for education and current grandparental experiences.

Conclusion: Greater positive grandparental involvement in childhood was associated with a higher level of generativity among community-dwelling, cognitively intact, Japanese older adults. Geriatr Gerontol Int ••; ••: ••-•• Geriatr Gerontol Int 2021; ••: ••-••.

Keywords: Japan; family relations in childhood; generativity; life course; well-being.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Cognitive Dysfunction
  • Family Relations
  • Grandparents / psychology*
  • Healthy Aging*
  • Humans
  • Independent Living
  • Intergenerational Relations / ethnology*
  • Japan
  • Social Class