Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Nadorff, Danielle K.

Committee Member

Winer, Eric Samuel

Committee Member

Berman, Mitchell

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access



Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Psychology


There are currently 2.7 million grandparents raising grandchildren in the United States. As grandparenting has become more prevalent, concerns have surfaced regarding the effect of additional caregiving responsibilities placed on an aging population. The following study uses an existing dataset that interviewed individuals who graduated from Wisconsin high schools in 1957. The present study examined the impact of grandparenting on measures of cognitive ability, both cross-sectionally and longitudinally, which had yet to be examined. Findings from the cross-sectional analysis show that custodial grandparents outperformed their non-custodial grandparent counterparts on the cognitive tests of word recall, category fluency, letter fluency, and cognitive similarities. Findings from the longitudinal analysis show that though custodial grandparents had initially performed worse on the digit ordering task, their scores declined at a much slower rate over-time when compared to non-custodial grandparents. This study provides a unique opportunity to examine the impact of custodial grandparenting on cognition.