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Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type


Degree Program


Degree Type

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



Grandmothers are known to increase the health and well-being of their grandchildren in many different populations. However, grandmothers may vary in their contributions based on their relatedness to their grandchildren. In some populations, maternal grandmothers decrease the risk of mortality and increase the health of their grandchildren more than paternal grandmothers. Grandmaternal influence also sometimes varies based on the gender of the grandchild. The behavioral mechanisms of grandmaternal investment are not well understood and have not been explored in the heavily intergenerational context of Eastern Europe. This study examines the behavioral variation of sixty-two Ukrainian grandmothers through interviews and a semi-structured questionnaire. I test whether maternal and paternal grandmothers differ in face-to-face contact with their grandchildren and whether the gender of the grandchild influences the frequency of face-to-face contact. Additionally, I examine qualitative responses from grandmothers on various aspects of childcare to determine whether maternal and paternal grandmothers have different childcare strategies and experience grandmotherhood in different ways. I found that maternal grandmothers have significantly more face-to-face time with their grandchildren (173.8 days out of the year as compared to 87.5 for paternal grandmothers, p


First Advisor

Lynnette Leidy Sievert

Second Advisor

Jason M. Kamilar