Children's Lives in Southern Europe
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Children's Lives in Southern Europe

Contemporary Challenges and Risks

Edited by Lourdes Gaitán, Yannis Pechtelidis, Catarina Tomás and Natália Fernandes

This interdisciplinary book provides a sociological view of the contemporary experiences of children in Southern Europe. Focusing on regions deeply affected by the 2008 economic crisis, it offers a detailed investigation into the impact of economic downturn and austerity on the lives of children.
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Chapter 6: Intergenerational solidarity in times of crisis: new relationships between children and grandparents in Spain

Lourdes Gaitán and María Sánchez-Domínguez


This chapter analyses the intergenerational transfers between grandparents and grandchildren in Spain using data from the Survey of Health, Ageing, and Retirement in Europe 2004–17 and the Dependent Care Survey (2014). The chapter first provides an overview of the basic demographic characteristics of the child population in Spain (0–17 years), its evolution from the early years of the demographic transition as well as the projections for the next 20 years. Second, it examines the material contribution of grandparents to the well-being of their grandchildren, both in the form of care and as economic resources. The results show that the intensity of care among grandparents is much more intense in Spain than in other European countries. Likewise, care arrangements generate a type of special relationship between children and other family members, where grandchildren play the role of ‘mediators’ between the other two generations.

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