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In the News: The Maternal Grandparent Advantage

In the News: The Maternal Grandparent Advantage

Today the New York Times published an article about the maternal grandparent advantage, the phenomenon where maternal grandparents have more access to their grandchildren than paternal grandparents. Karen Fingerman, professor in Human Development and Family Sciences was featured in the article and discusses the advantages that mother-daughter relationships give to the maternal grandparents.

Daughters often have a special connection to their mothers, stronger than any other comparable family relationship. "The mother-daughter dyads engage in more frequent phone contact, more emotional support and advice — more than mothers do with sons or fathers with daughters," said Fingerman. Her research has found that how close parents are with a daughter-in-law can make or break how close they can be to their grandchildren.

Fingerman was also interviewed in the New York Times last summer about Empty Nesters, giving advice to parents seeing their children go off to college and explaining both how parental involvement that is responsive rather than intrusive can help children grow and how parental stress can come from a change of norms and beliefs in our children.

In the Harvard Political Review about Millennials, Fingerman is quoted again about the importance of responsive rather than intrusive parental involvement in a child's life. The article goes into depth about the research done and different points of view on Millennials including who is to blame for their "laziness" and if that's an apt point to make about them.

UPDATE (July 16, 2018): Fingerman has continued to receive more national press interest. Earlier this month, she was featured in the Washington Post discussing "weak ties," relationships with casual acquaintances in comparison to those with close friends and family. These weak ties can actually help buffer stress, keep us calmer and encourage healthy behaviors just as much as the strong ties with close friends and family.