Do Grandmothers Feel More Affection for Grandkids than their Adult Kids?

Science now proves that the bond between grandmothers and their grandkids is a special one. Emory University researchers scanned the brains of grandmothers as they looked at photos of their grandchildren, and as they looked at photos of their own adult children. They found the grandma's brains showed more cognitive empathy– trying to understand what someone is thinking and why– when viewing photos of their grandchildren, compared to when viewing photos of their adult children. The researchers say the “cute factor” of young kids likely plays a role in the results, which ultimately showed a stronger emotional response to grandchildren. Lead author James Rilling says, “What really jumps out in the data is the activation in areas of the brain associated with emotional empathy. That suggests that grandmothers are geared toward feeling what their grandchildren are feeling when they interact with them.”


Happy grandmother embracing grandson in yard

Photo: Getty Images

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