Background: Intergenerational relationships are beneficial for both grandparents and grandchildren. A positive grandparent-grandchild relationship can improve the psychological well-being of older adults and be a source of social support, family history, and identity development. Maintaining meaningful interactions can be, however, a challenging endeavor, especially as life events lead to relocating geographically. Grandparents and grandchildren can have different preferences in terms of communication mediums and different assumptions about the real conversational needs of the other. Objective: In this study, we will investigate the feasibility and effect of sharing memories of older adults with their grandchildren in social media. This intervention focuses on bringing snippets of the lives of the grandparents into the grandchildren’s social media feed and analyzing the potential effect on relational quality, relational investment, and conversational resources from the perspective of the grandchildren. Methods: A randomized controlled trial will be used to measure the effectiveness of sharing family memories through social media on intergenerational relationships from the perspective of the grandchildren. The study will be implemented in Mongolia among 60 grandparent-grandchild pairs who will be assigned to either a control or intervention group. Pictures and stories will be collected during reminiscence sessions between the researchers and the grandparents before the intervention. During an intervention period of 2 months, grandchildren in the intervention group will receive pictures and stories of their grandparents on their social media account. Pre- and postintervention questionnaires will measure relationship quality, relationship investment, and conversational resources and will be used to assess the effectiveness of the intervention. Results: We conducted a pretest pilot from January to April 2018 among 6 pairs of participants (6 grandparents and 6 grandchildren). The validation of the protocol was focused on the process, instruments, and technological setup. We continued the study after the validation, and 59 pairs of participants (59 grandparents and 59 grandchildren) have been recruited. The data collection was completed in November 2019. Conclusions: The results of this study will contribute to strategies to stimulate social interactions in intergenerational pairs. A validation of the study process is also presented to provide further operational recommendations. The lessons learned during the validation of the protocol are discussed with recommendations and implications for the recruitment, reminiscence sessions, technological setup, and administration of instruments.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Informatics