Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences


Communication Studies

Committee Chair

Christine E. Rittenour

Committee Member

Matthew M. Martin

Committee Member

Scott A. Myers


The purpose of this study is to examine potential relationships between both blatant and subtle racial prejudice, identity gaps (as conceptualized by the communication theory of identity) and relationship satisfaction in the grandparent-emerging adult grandchild relationship. This study also addresses the discrepancy between grandchild perceptions of grandparent levels of blatant and subtle prejudice compared to the grandchild’s selfreport of blatant and subtle prejudice. Results of the current study (N = 460) confirm previous research that indicates both the personal-enacted and personal-relational identity gaps have a negative relationship with relationship satisfaction. Additionally, this study suggests that grandchildren perceive their grandparents’ racial prejudice as greater than their own, also uncovering a negative relationship between grandparent racial prejudice and relationship satisfaction. The current study identifies these grandparent-self discrepancies as a positive correlate of both the personal-enacted and personal-relational identity gaps and a negative correlate of relationship satisfaction. These results suggest that grandchildren who are dissatisfied by their relationship with their grandparent see a larger discrepancy between their own beliefs and their grandparents’ beliefs.