One Roof, Three Generations: Grandparental Co-residence and Child Outcomes in China

Wen Jui Han, Timothy Whetung, Xupeng Mao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examined the association between grandparental co-residence and child academic and behavioral outcomes using a sample from Shanghai, China (n = 1,763), and was built on two theoretical perspectives: intergenerational solidarity theory and the contextual model of family stress. These models integrate the impact of residential and relational proximity to grandparents on child well-being and underscore the importance of family context. This study also explored the moderating effects of family resources using proxies that prior theoretical and empirical studies have found to be important to such associations: family income, parental education, hukou status, and subjective social status. Results indicated that among families without co-residing grandparents, rural and low-income parents reported their children to have more externalizing behavioral issues than their respective urban and non-low-income counterparts. In addition, children who resided in poorly resourced families (i.e., low family income, low parental education, low subjective social status, or rural hukou status) tended to benefit from living with grandparents compared to their well-resourced counterparts in terms of lower externalizing and internalizing behaviors reported by teachers. These results do not negate the potential beneficial effects of living with grandparents for children in well-resourced environments. Implications for practice and policy, as well as future research directions, are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1144-1160
Number of pages17
JournalFamily Process
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020


  • Academic performance
  • Behavioral outcomes
  • China
  • Grandparental co-residence
  • Grandparents
  • Living arrangement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'One Roof, Three Generations: Grandparental Co-residence and Child Outcomes in China'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this