A new study may have provided the clue to why grandparents and their grandchildren share strong connections across generations.
According to the researchers, the presence of some grandparents can substantially increase the chances of a child surviving during the high-risk period of infancy and childhood.
"We felt if such as association existed in Western societies, where the fertility and childhood mortality rates are much lower, grandparents could make a substantial public health contribution to our society," said David A. Coall of Edith Cowan University, who co wrote the article along with Ralph Hertwig of the University of Basel.
According to Coall, "Grandparents have helped and supported their families in the past, they do now and no doubt, they will in the future. Now we need disciplines to work together and establish what it is that grandparents do which benefits the development of their grandchildren. It could be as simple as knowing that there is always someone there if you need them."
The study is detailed in Current Directions in Psychological Science.