The recent study investigated whether the survival status of a particular grandparent influenced the investment of other grandparent types within and between lineages.
In general, women are more likely to invest extra resources to benefit their families than men. And maternal grandmothers typically invest the most of all grandparent types in their grandchildren even in modern patrilineal societies. Still there is limited knowledge regarding how the survival status of different grandparent types influences each other’s investment in grandchildren.
According to the study maternal grandmothers’ investment was increased by having a living maternal grandfather but not vice versa. Having a living maternal grandmother was also associated with decreased investment of paternal grandparents. These findings indicate that the association between the survival status of other grandparents and the focal grandparents’ investment varies between grandparent types.
The data used was the Involved Grandparenting and Child Well-Being Survey 2007, which provides nationally representative data of English and Welsh adolescents aged 11–16-years. Future studies are needed to detect whether the same effect exists if one investigates grandparental investment in younger grandchildren.
The current study presents the first investigation of the interplay of grandparental investment according to the survival status of other grandparent types both within- and between-lineages.
Helle, S., Tanskanen, A.O., Pettay, J.E. & Danielsbacka, M. (2022). The interplay of grandparental investment according to the survival status of other grandparent types. Scientific Reports, 12, 14390. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-18693-9