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Keywords:

  • life satisfaction;
  • grandparents;
  • stress;
  • cognitive appraisal

Abstract

The study examined the contribution of sociodemographic characteristics, perceived stress, and cognitive appraisals of grandparenthood to life satisfaction among new grandparents. The theoretical framework was Lazarus and Folkman's stress and coping model and the positive psychology approach. The sample consisted of 246 Israeli grandparents (aged 42–72 years) who completed a set of questionnaires 3–24 months after the birth of their first grandchild. The results showed that higher levels of life satisfaction were associated with younger age of grandparents, higher levels of physical health and economic status, and lower grandparent distress. Moreover, maternal grandparents reported higher appraisals of challenge and threat than did paternal grandparents, and grandfathers reported a higher perception of dysfunctional interaction with the grandchild than did grandmothers. Most importantly, the participants' cognitive appraisals were found to moderate the perceptions of stress generated by the birth of a first grandchild. The study highlights the need for preventive interventions aimed at promoting factors that can empower new grandparents who have difficulty coping with their new role. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.