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Playtime helps bind generations
Date:2/14/2011

This release is available in French.

Montreal, February 14, 2010 A new study has confirmed an old adage: A family that plays together stays together. Researchers from Concordia University and Wilfrid Laurier University examined the ways grandparents can maintain close ties with their adult grandchildren. True to the old maxim, recreation emerged as the glue sealing intergenerational bonds.

"Leisure is vital in the formation of bonds that last from generation to generation," says lead author Shannon Hebblethwaite, a professor in Concordia University's Department of Applied Human Sciences. "Shared leisure time allows grandchildren and their grandparents to establish common interests that, in turn, enable them to develop strong intergenerational relationships."

Published in Family Relations: Interdisciplinary Journal of Applied Family Studies, the study builds on previous research that found healthy intergenerational connections help grandparents age better and feel more positively about life. "The study of intergenerational bonds in adult grandchildren is relatively new," says Hebblethwaite. "Little attention has been paid to this relationship, yet grandparenting will become increasingly relevant as North America's population ages."

This new study is among the first to examine a cohort of grandchildren and their grandparents. "Most studies look into parenting, children or seniors. Few have examined how leisure contributes to the bonds between adult grandchildren and grandparents in the same family."

Gardening with grandma

Sixteen retired or semiretired grandparents, aged 65 to 89, took part in the investigation as well as 14 grandchildren aged 18 to 24. Occasions that typically brought generations together included vacations, holiday celebrations, cooking, shopping and gardening.

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Contact: Sylvain-Jacques Desjardins
s-j.desjardins@concordia.ca
514-848-2424 x5068
Concordia University
Source:Eurekalert  

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