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Title: The experiences of grandparents who have limited or no contact with their grandchildren
Contributor(s): Sims, Margaret (author)orcid ; Rofail, Maged (author)
Publication Date: 2013
DOI: 10.1016/j.jaging.2013.09.002
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Abstract: The matrilineal advantage theory suggests that paternal grandparents are more at risk of having little or no contact with their grandchildren. However, there is significant family diversity within Australia and we wished to understand the experiences of a wide range of grandparents in order to determine if the matrilineal theory can be effectively used in practice to identify those grandparents most at risk for estrangement. A convenience group of grandparents with little or no contact with grandchildren (n = 38) told their stories in their own words using narratives obtained through interview or writing. We found that paternal grandparents, as per the matrilineal advantage theory, were more likely to be estranged from their grandchildren when their son divorced, particularly when he was not the resident parent or when he re-partnered. However, in contrast, we found that maternal grandparents who experienced conflict in their relationship with their daughter were also at risk for estrangement. This occurred even when grandparents had previously been highly involved in the lives of their grandchildren. Some estrangements appeared to result from a cultural bias towards the nuclear family form. We argue that practitioners need not only to expand their understanding of the risk categories for estrangement, they also need to actively support parents and grandparents in creating and maintaining wider family support networks in order to improve family resilience.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Journal of Aging Studies, 27(4), p. 377-386
Publisher: Pergamon
Place of Publication: United Kingdom
ISSN: 0890-4065
Field of Research (FOR): 169999 Studies in Human Society not elsewhere classified
160799 Social Work not elsewhere classified
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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Appears in Collections:Journal Article
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