Date of Award

Spring 5-18-2021

Document Type

Undergraduate Honors Thesis


Computer Science


Dr. Jennifer Olsen


The cross generational bond between a grandparent and grandchild is extremely important. The stories, traditions, and beliefs that grandparents share with their grandchildren have the ability to shape their grandchildren’s beliefs. For grandparents, the role of being a grandparent and creating shared memories with their grandchildren leaves a positive impact on their mental health. Although the elderly population prefers to connect with others in-person, including their grandchildren, this face-to-face connection is not always possible due to schedules, distance, or health. Many products have been designed for grandparents and grandchildren to try to fill this communication gap when they are apart. However, these products are often targeted towards a narrow age group with limited support for all ages to create memories and sustain their relationship virtually. As a first step to address this gap, I investigate the way grandparents interact with their grandchildren and how distance, as well as non-in-person communication, impacts their relationship through a semi-structured interview study. My findings revealed four significant themes about what grandparents value within the grandparent-grandchild relationship, how those themes are partially integrated in devices created for grandparents and grandchildren, and how this relationship can be facilitated thoroughly through technology.