Intergenerational Learning


Gerontol Geriatr Res. 2016; 2(2): 1012.

Intergenerational Learning

Ritu Sharma*

Department of Psychology, University of Delhi, India

*Corresponding author: Ritu Sharma, Aditi Mahavidyalya, Department of Psychology, University of Delhi, India

Received: May 06, 2016; Accepted: May 16, 2016; Published: May 17, 2016


Intergenerational Learning refers to learning of knowledge and skills between two generations for the benefit of each other as well as of society. In today’s time where older generation is losing its importance and younger generation is also feeling separated from the cultural roots and traditional values, it’s the responsibility of middle generation to bring them together.

The middle parental generation forms an important relational bridge that links the two nonadjacent generations, the conflict between parents and grandparents may have negative consequences on the quality of grandparent–grandchild relationships [1]. Several studies show that in a positive environment the emotional bonds of grandparents are stronger with grandchildren as compare to emotional ties with their own children [2,3]. Grandchildren serve a linking function between the two older generations. The simple presence of a young grandchild in the family has been shown to increase the amount of contact between the parents and grandparents of that child. Grandparents convey core moral values to their grandchildren and have been found to influence their grandchildren’s religious orientations by strengthening influence of traditional cultural values [4,5].

We live in families and family has the prime moral and legal responsibility to take care of their older family members. Older people often rely on family members for help. They need help to cope up with the demands of everyday life because of a chronic illness or during a crisis [6]. Many adult children provide care in spite of time constraints, distance or multiple responsibilities but the number of such caring children is reducing in modern times [7]. Adult children should have a strong sense of responsibility and commitment toward their aging parents to strengthen not only the present environment with values of compassion and care but also to build pillars of human values for the future generation to stand on.

The family becomes more and more important for the elderly as the need for support increases [8]. Here the role of intergenerational bonding plays vital role in bringing the happiness in the life of everyone in the family. Emotional ties in aging families reflected in attitudes, values, behaviors and well-being of family [3]. The strong intergenerational relations can convert into conservation of traditional values and culture [9]. In the absence of guidance and dissociation from the route values, no youth can stand respectfully.

It is the utmost responsibility of the family to care of his elderly members not only morally but also legally. If we educate the younger generation for the health needs of older family members then they can take of their daily health needs and decrease the possibility of frequent hospitalization and medical care. But the problem is that younger generation thinks that it is the responsibility of middle generation to take care of elderly members of the family. The root cause of this attitude again lies in the weak intergenerational bonding. The knowledge and awareness of health needs and care prospects of older people in family can reduce the care giving burden which is solely on the middle generation and build strong emotional ties between generations [10].

The older generation should also put steps forward to successfully transfer the heritage to next generation. Sometimes they have to work hard to make things or concepts more interesting for them to enhance the acceptability of traditional cultural values among young generation. But rather than developing the hopelessness older generation should also be proactive in finding out the means and ways to strengthen the relationship with grandchildren [11]. They should use their immense experience and wisdom to master the environment for inculcating the valuable heritage to the younger generation. People feel satisfaction by learning and growth. Government policies should also promote age and disable friendly environment to enhance the mobility and activity level of senior citizens for making them more socially productive and mentally healthy [12].

People are relating themselves to the community found to be more healthy, satisfied and happy and family is the building block of community or society, attitude runs from family [13,8]. When we work for the happiness and benefits of others then we get many things in return which cannot be valued or equated with money or any other luxury. It is the eternal world which provides real long lasting happiness and ultimate satisfaction [14]. It can only be attained when person expand his area of Ego and feel that everyone is a part of his/ her Own Self. This expanded Self develops a sense of love, compassion, care and sharing for mankind and make world a beautiful place to live in, which together we can and we will.


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Citation: Sharma R. Intergenerational Learning. Gerontol Geriatr Res. 2016; 2(2): 1012.

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