Research centre REACH

The experiences of grandparents raising grandchildren in Indonesia

Rista Fauziningtyas, Retno Indarwati, Delisa Alfriani, Joni Haryanto, Elida Ulfiana, Ferry Efendi, Nursalam Nursalam and Khatijah Lim Abdullah


The raising of grandchildren by grandparents is a global phenomenon, and it is common in Indonesia. This is because parents are often unable or unwilling to raise their own children. However, the debate around “grandparenting” is still limited in Indonesia. The purpose of this paper is to gain a better understanding of the experience and views of grandparents on “grandparenting.”

The methodology employed was qualitative and informed by phenomenology. The authors conducted in-depth interviews with 13 grandparents who were raising their grandchildren who were under five years old. The data were analyzed using thematic content analysis.

5 main themes and 13 subthemes emerged from the analysis of the data. The themes were responses, strategies for overcoming negative responses, the grandparents’ role, the reason for raising grandchildren, and the cultural aspect of “grandparenting” in Java. All of the grandparents enjoyed their roles as grandparents. They felt that they helped fulfill their grandchildren’s physical and educational needs.

The experience of raising a grandchild can be both positive and negative, depending on the cultural aspects in the Java and the family as a whole system. Grandparents require healthcare and informal support to maintain their well-being.

This paper provides new insights into “grandparenting” closely related to social and cultural aspect within the community. Grandparents enjoy being a part of the Javanese tradition. The supportive role of grandparents in Indonesia is important. However, older adults need to balance the role of “grandparenting” and rest time so that they remain healthy and happy.

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