Difference Wiki

Transgenerational vs. Intergenerational: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Updated on November 7, 2023
Transgenerational refers to something passed down through multiple generations, while intergenerational denotes interaction or relationships between different generations.

Key Differences

Transgenerational refers to effects, patterns, or issues that extend across more than one generation within a family or a community, like transgenerational trauma. Intergenerational, however, focuses on the relationships and exchanges between people of different generations, highlighting interaction and cooperation.
In the context of psychology, transgenerational can relate to inherited behaviors or characteristics, indicating a passage from one generation to the next. Intergenerational emphasizes the reciprocal influence and learning that happens when different generations come into contact, such as in intergenerational programs.
When considering design or planning, transgenerational design aims at creating products or environments that accommodate users of all ages without the need for adaptation. Intergenerational design, by contrast, often involves creating spaces that encourage interaction between generations, like community centers.
The term "transgenerational" can also describe narratives or stories that track a family or group's experience over several generations. "Intergenerational" might describe initiatives that bring younger and older people together for mutual benefit, like mentoring schemes.
Transgenerational issues often deal with the transmission of information, values, or traumas that are carried forward by individuals or groups. Intergenerational issues look at the dynamics and bonds that form when different age groups engage with one another, such as in an intergenerational household.

Comparison Chart


Across multiple generations
Between different generations


Transgenerational trauma
Intergenerational programs

Key Element

Passage or inheritance
Interaction or relationship

Common Contexts

Psychology, genetics, family history
Social programs, education, community development


To understand effects that persist through generations
To foster connections and learning between generations

Transgenerational and Intergenerational Definitions


Passing from one generation to the next.
The family business has a transgenerational legacy.


Aimed at promoting interaction between older and younger generations.
Intergenerational programs can reduce ageism in society.


Extending across several generations.
They studied transgenerational patterns of behavior.


Pertaining to the reciprocal influences between generations.
The intergenerational exchange of knowledge benefits both the young and the old.


Pertaining to the long-term effects that extend beyond a single generation.
The policy's transgenerational impact was profound.


Occurring between or involving different generations.
The community center hosts intergenerational activities.


Relating to influences or consequences that affect subsequent generations.
The study focused on transgenerational effects of historical events.


Involving members of different generations within a family or community.
Intergenerational households are becoming more common.


Inherited or transmitted across generations.
The heirloom carries transgenerational sentimental value.


Relating to the cooperation and relationships between generations.
Intergenerational mentoring connects experience with innovation.


Acting across multiple generations


Being or occurring between generations.


Between or across generations.
Intergenerational justice


What does intergenerational mean?

It involves interaction or relationships between different generations.

Are intergenerational programs effective?

Yes, they're often effective in building understanding and reducing stereotypes.

What does transgenerational mean?

It means extending or passed down across multiple generations.

Can trauma be transgenerational?

Yes, trauma can be passed down and affect subsequent generations.

What's an example of intergenerational learning?

Older adults teaching young people traditional skills or vice versa.

Is culture transgenerational?

Culture can be transgenerational when traditions are inherited.

Can a story be transgenerational?

Yes, if it covers experiences or events across multiple generations.

Is genetics transgenerational or intergenerational?

Genetics is transgenerational as it involves the hereditary passing of genes.

What is an intergenerational policy?

A policy designed to address the needs of all ages in a community.

Do transgenerational effects include health issues?

Yes, health issues can be passed down through generations.

Can intergenerational interaction help with loneliness?

Yes, it can provide companionship and a sense of purpose.

What's an intergenerational household?

A home where members of different generations live together.

Can businesses be transgenerational?

Yes, when they're passed down and managed by successive family generations.

How do transgenerational narratives shape family identity?

They provide a sense of heritage and continuity.

Why is understanding transgenerational patterns important?

It helps in recognizing long-term influences and addressing inherited challenges.

How can society benefit from intergenerational interaction?

By sharing diverse perspectives and strengthening social bonds.

Can intergenerational activities improve health?

Yes, by promoting active social engagement and mental stimulation.

What role do intergenerational programs play in education?

They encourage lifelong learning and mentorship opportunities.

Are family values considered transgenerational?

They often are, as they're passed down through family lines.

What makes an activity intergenerational?

When it involves the active participation of people from different generations.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

Trending Comparisons

Popular Comparisons

New Comparisons