“We Usually Go Out Instead, So That He Forgets About His Tablet”: (Great-)Grandparental Mediation in the Generational Order

Carolina Martínez


Research on mediation of children’s media use has primarily focused on parents, while the role of other social agents, such as grandparents, has gained little attention. This article furthers our understanding of grandparental mediation by exploring what mediation strategies are used by grandparents and great-grandparents to mediate children’s digital media use. Furthermore, it contributes to our understanding of how mediation is shaped by the generational order, in this case how parents play an important role in influencing grandparents’ mediation practices. The article draws on qualitative interviews with 18 older adults in Sweden who had grandchildren and great-grandchildren whom they were with regularly or occasionally. The results reveal that (great-)grandparents employed the strategies of restrictive mediation, active mediation, co-use, participatory learning, and deference. The use of these strategies was clearly shaped by the generational order, where restrictive and active mediation were especially delicate to manage within the dynamics of intergenerational relations.


grandparental mediation, parental mediation, mediation strategies, intergenerational relations, grandparent, great-grandparent, grandchild, great-grandchild

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