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Grandparents and parenting: towards a theory of grandparenthood

Grandparents and parenting: towards a theory of grandparenthood

Rich, Ann (2007) Grandparents and parenting: towards a theory of grandparenthood. In: The emotional management of parents who give birth to a child with a disability or critical illness International Conference, 21-22 May 2007, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK. (Unpublished)

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This paper explores the changing role of contemporary grandparents with many demonstrating a willingness and ability to take on parental responsibilities for their grandchildren, where they may face challenges and opportunities in difficult times. Three main forms of grand parenting are identified in the literature, those who have primary responsibility and are raising their grand children as their main carers perhaps in response to crisis situations, those who live in extended families and participate in care, and those who provide day care while the child’s parents work. The latter has increased because of the increasing frequency of divorce, single parenting and the lack of available or subsidised child care in the United Kingdom.
When grandparents step into a troubled situation and attempt to offer stability and security for their grandchildren they may have to manage the combined responsibilities of family caregivers and parental figures. Grandparenthood is a tenuous role, lacking clear agreement on behaviour norms. In the culture of advice and parenting support, while care must be taken not to undermine parenting skills or make judgements about the ability to cope with the demands of childcare, an exploration of the impact on grandparents and children must be undertaken. Due to the complex web of interrelated factors the process and outcomes of care giving by grandparents is not well known in the literature. It is proposed therefore that it is timely for research to be undertaken to explore and develop a theory of Grandparenthood.

Item Type: Conference or Conference Paper (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: grandparenthood, grandparents, parenting, parental responsibilities
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Health & Social Care
School of Health & Social Care > Family Care & Mental Health Department
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Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:07

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