Grandparenting and Extended-Family Support: The Silent Generation
3 Iɴᴛ’ʟ. J. Jᴜʀɪs. Fᴀᴍ. 283 (2012).
18 Pages Posted: 15 Aug 2018
Date Written: 2012
It has often been the practice to associate the extended family with traditional societies. With the increased complexity, ambiguity, and fluidity of today's family life, this perception could be rapidly changing. There are many instances in developed countries today of single or separated parents who rely on their family members and friends for support. With the shrinking of family size and increased personal longevity, more vertical ties with next of kin are forged in addition to horizontal ones, Relations involving different generations, particularly between grandparents and grandchildren, will be among the most distinctive features in the family life of the future. Parents in old age will probably provide more assistance to their adult children and grandchildren than they receive, as family relationships and loyalties become more complex, new problems will emerge. This development suggests increased recognition of the needs as well as the rights and duties of caregivers. This paper analyzes these issues from a psychosocial and psychodynamic perspective. It assesses some of the implications of extended family relationships, particularly those of grandparenting, as they influence all the family members as well as society at large.
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