Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Joan Norris

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


Intergenerational value transmission plays an important role in child socialization. Although much research has been done on parent to child value teaching, there is little research on grandparent to grandchild value teaching. The purpose of this study was to explore parent and grandparent value teaching and how it relates to young adult generativity, identity development, and adjustment. This study involved 100 young adults, between the ages of 25 to 29 with a mean age of 26, taken from a longitudinal sample of participants in 2006. Participants were asked to tell parent and grandparent value teaching stories, in which they described a time that their parents and grandparents taught them the importance of a value. These stories were coded for story presence, degree of interactiveness, whether the parent or grandparent served as a positive or negative model of the chosen value, and the use of parent or grandparent quoted voice. Participants completed questionnaire measures of generativity and identity, and measures of loneliness, trust, and dispositional optimism, which are standard measures of adjustment. All participants were able to recount a parent value teaching story, and the majority of participants were able to recount a grandparent value teaching story. The results indicated that young adult grandparent to grandchild value socialization was done mostly by grandmothers, and the value tended to be taught indirectly. Parent value socialization appears to be shared between parents and taught by direct interaction. Furthermore, being able to tell a grandparent value teaching story positively predicted young adult generativity, and negatively predicted young adult loneliness. The construal of a parent as a positive model of the chosen value positively predicted young adult dispositional optimism. Finally, telling an interactive grandparent value teaching story positively predicted young adult generativity. The results of this study help to extend the literature on the life story narrative, grandparenting, and intergenerational value transmission.

Convocation Year


Included in

Psychology Commons