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Grandparenting

  • By: Andreas Hoff
  • In: Encyclopedia of Family Health
  • Edited by: Martha Craft-Rosenberg & Shelley-Rae Pehler
  • Subject:Family Health, Family Policy, Family Law

Demographic change and changing family values have profoundly altered the nature of grandparenting. Grandparents and grandchildren spend more time with each other over extended periods of their life courses as a consequence of rising life expectancy. Whereas grandparenting in the past was often restricted by early onset of ill health or frailness when grandchildren were still young, today's grandparents see their grandchildren growing up to have children of their own (great-grandparenthood). On the other hand, today's grandparents have fewer grandchildren than previous generations as a result of declining fertility levels. Increasing popularity of liberal family values has challenged the dominance of family formation based on marriage, with the outcome of greater variability of family forms (cohabitation, single parents, etc.). Greater ease of dissolving marriage and ...

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