The Handbook of Parenting brings together in a single volume much of the theoretical and empirical knowledge and aspects of professional activity within the broadly defined field of parenting. Contributions are presented from an internationally renowned group of scholars known for their work in a range of disciplines, including child and family psychology, education and family studies, providing an accessible map of the major debates in theory, research and practice in this important and exciting field. The material is presented comprehensively. It encompasses essential policy and professional issues in all the main areas of current concern from parenting in culturally divergent settings, to parenting children with special needs in areas of physical, mental, social and educational functioning, to looking at ways in which the wider community and technological advances may be able to provide parenting support. Published in a single-volume format, this handbook will prove an invaluable and essential resource. Academics, researchers, practitioners and advanced students in a host of disciplines will gain from its breadth, wealth of information and enormous insight into the principal issues related to parenting theory and practice in the 21st century. The distinctive contribution of this handbook is to present a vast body of research and other information in a manner that is usable by practitioners in a wide range of child and parental support activities.

Grandparenting and Extended Support Networks

Grandparenting and extended support networks

Summary

Grandparenting is an important part of the life-cycle. Grandparent-grandchild contacts are often quite frequent and usually satisfying. Proximity is an important variable, although becoming less so now, with technological advances such as email. This contact allows grandparents to influence their grandchildren in many ways, directly and indirectly. There are distinctive roles in grandparenting, which vary between individuals, historical periods, and cultures. An important element of this is often acting as surrogate parents. Parental separation or divorce can greatly affect grandparents and their relations with grandchildren. This chapter sets out the major issues in this area.

Introduction

Grandparents and grandchildren have been described as being a ‘vital connection’ (Kornhaber and Woodward, 1981). Grandparenting is certainly an important part of ...

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