Communication Studies, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Journal of Language and Social Psychology 29:1 (March 2010), pp. 75–100; doi: 10.1177/0261927X09351680


Copyright © 2010 Sage Publications. Used by permission.


This study examined grandchildren’s relational and communicative responses to grandparents’ painful self-disclosures (PSDs). From the perspective of young adult grandchildren (N = 297), dis-comfort with PSDs is more significant in differentiating positive and negative aspects of the grandparent-grandchild relationship than simply the occurrence of such disclosures. Furthermore, results reveal that the family communication environment and communicative responsiveness of the grandchild are important factors in predicting discomfort with PSDs as well as grandchildren’s communication with grandparents.