Which Grandparents? Multigenerational Education Associations by Grandparent Gender and Paternal versus Maternal Side by Anita Li (July 2023)



A growing body of research focuses on multigenerational mobility, but few studies show how grandparents’ gender and gender-specific lineage (paternal vs. maternal side) are differentially associated with the process of status transmissions across generations. This article uses data from the Health and Retirement Study 1992–2018 (N = 15,623) to examine gender and gender-specific lineage differences in grandparent-grandchild education associations. Grandfathers’ educational attainment is more strongly associated with grandchildren’s education than is grandmothers’ education. Variation in shared lifetimes and residential proximity do not account for these differences, but shared lifetimes between grandmothers and grandchildren are positively associated with grandchildren’s educational attainment.