This engaging textbook synthesizes the current knowledge about how grandparents operate in the family and in society. Using a number of case studies, the book covers topics such as: the grandparent-grandchild bond; grandparent development; grandparent-parent relationships; normative and non-normative grandparenting activities; the variety of grandparenting activities according to race, gender and age; the relationship of grandparents to the community; clinical grandparenting; and the legal rights of grandparents.

Cultural and Historical Variations

Cultural and Historical Variations

Cultural and historical variations

Greatness of name in the father oft-times overwhelms the son; they stand too near one another. The shadow kills the growth; so much, that we see the grandchild come more and oftener to be the heir of the first.

—Ben Jonson, Discoveries Made Upon Men and Matter (1640)

Biology and history both have much to teach about grandparent identity, status, roles, and behaviors. The biological basis (referred to here as the “biological condition”) of grandparenthood has remained constant through the ages. Simply put, every time a child is born, parent and child are thrust forward into another generational strata; child becomes parent, parent becomes grandparent. Each birth brings with it the potential for an emotional attachment between grandparent and grandchild. ...

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