Children's Time with Mothers and Grandparents in Custodial Grandparent Households

Kathleen M. Ziol-Guest, New York University (NYU)
Rachel Dunifon, Cornell University

This paper examines the time children in custodial grandparent households spend with their mothers and with their grandparents. Using a sample of children from the 1997 and 2002 Panel Study of Income Dynamics Child Development Supplement, we examine the extent of time spent with mothers and grandparents, as well as the nature of this time. Findings suggest children spend time with their non-custodial mothers and most of that is solo time. Additionally, the time that non-custodial mothers spend with children is weighted toward screen time, play, and learning activities; whereas grandparent time is geared toward personal care and household activities. We augment this analysis with a sample of children living with custodial grandparents in the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study nine-year follow-up. We examine contributions that non-residential mothers make to the custodial grandparent household. Preliminary findings suggest that mothers do not contribute financially, but provide in-kind contributions.

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Presented in Session 109: Families Living Apart in the United States