117: Engagement Promotes a Sense of Purpose for Older Adults: Variations by Race, Gender, Age, and Living Situation

Melissa A. Barnett; Mary E. Marshall
10:15 AM
11:30 AM
Marquette II
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Session Focus
Organized By
Families & Health
About the Session

Conference Attendance Hours: 1
NBCC CE Hours: 1

One characteristic of successful aging that is consistent across a number of gerontological theories is the importance of active engagement that promotes a sense of purpose. Many older adults report that engagement with their family, including their grandchildren, positively enriches their lives and gives them meaning. Building on intergenerational theory, this symposium highlights the role of parenting, grandparenting, or great grandparenting as an important aspect of quality of life. This symposium covers a range of important topics such as social media connections, the health of caregiving grandparents, lineage work for grandfathers, and grandparenting in assisted living facilities. Overall, this symposium highlights grandparenting and intergenerational relationships that are typically in the shadows in current research. Exploration of the grandparenting and other roles, focusing on variations by race, gender, age, and living situation will give attendees ideas for future research to continue to illuminate these special populations.


  • To share findings about special populations in grandparenting research including race, gender, age, and living situation.
  • To demonstrate how intergenerational relationships affect older adult health & wellbeing
  • To demonstrate examples of intergenerational research from multiple methodologies: original quantitative data, secondary quantitative data, and qualitative participatory.

Subject Codes: aging, aging health, grandparenting
Population Codes: older adults, grandparent
Method and Approach Codes: quantitative methodology, qualitative methodology

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