Literature review on transnational grandparent migration: A view from Australia

Document Type



Toronto Metropolitan University / DemiKnow


School of Arts and Humanities




Baldassar, L., Nguyen, H.T., & Stevens, C. (2022). Literature review on transnational grandparent migration: A view from Australia. Toronto Metropolitan University / DemiKnow.


Given the phenomenal increase in transnational mobility, grandparents, like many others, are engaged in and influenced by this trend. Often grandparents are “left behind” when their adult children move to distant places (Ariadi, Saud, & Ashfaq, 2019; Evandrou, Falkingham, Qin, & Vlachantoni, 2017; Falkingham, Qin, Vlachantoni, & Evandrou, 2017; Deependra Kaji Thapa, Visentin, Kornhaber, & Cleary, 2018; Deependra K. Thapa, Visentin, Kornhaber, & Cleary, 2020; Zickgraf, 2017). Others become “flying grannies” or “older migrants” who either temporarily or permanently migrate to where their children are to provide or receive care and support (Hamilton, Kintominas, & Adamson, 2021; King, Cela, Fokkema, & Vullnetari, 2014; Plaza, 2000; Ran & Liu, 2021; Subramaniam, 2019; Wyss & Nedelcu, 2018).

Over the past two decades, researchers have become increasingly interested in transnational migrant grandparents and their roles in childcare and home care for transnational families (Askola, 2016a; Ho & Chiu, 2020; King et al., 2014; Lamas-Abraira, 2019; Plaza, 2000; Ran & Liu, 2021; Shih, 2012; Solari, 2017; Tezcan, 2021; Treas, 2008; Treas & Mazumdar, 2004; Wyss & Nedelcu, 2018). We gathered background information for a project on families’ roles in migration. We are specifically interested in representing perspectives from the Global South and North so the project is called the Decentering Migration Knowledge (DEMIKNOW) and includes scholars associated with migration research centres from Australia, Canada, China, and India. This literature review synthesizes current scholarship and identifies what research is needed from an Australian perspective.

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