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.



Who is thy grandfather; he made those clothes. Which, as it seems, make thee.

—William Shakespeare, Cymbeline, Act IV, scene 2

The satisfactory enactment of grandparents' roles depends on many variables. Each individual expresses these roles through the complexities of his or her own character and experiences and subsequently through the personalities within the family and the society. All of these diverse personal, familial, and social elements, acting as influencing factors, affect the nature and practice of grandparenting. Because of the complexity of these factors, it is not easy to specify what constitutes an effective grandparent.

The Grandparent Study nevertheless attempted to define the characteristics of an effective grandparent. We interviewed 80 grandparents (40 men and 40 women) of diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds who had been ...

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