Grandparents’ relationships with grandchildren: continuity and change

Neil Ferguson, Gillian Douglas, Nigel Lowe, Mervyn Murch and Margaret Robinson

in Grandparenting in divorced families

Published by Policy Press

Published in print January 2004 | ISBN: 9781861344984
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447302452 | DOI:
Grandparents’ relationships with grandchildren: continuity and change

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This chapter asks ‘what importance do grandchildren attach to their relationship with their grandparents and how might these relationships be affected by divorce?’; and ‘is there evidence of continuity in the grandparent-grandchild relationship in divorced families as well as evidence of change as the result of family break-up’? It suggests the findings about the effects of parental divorce on the emotional bond between grandchildren and grandparents need to be accepted with some important reservations. It discovers that grandparents who were reluctant to get involved with their grandchildren before the divorce did not become more enthusiastic about grandparenting when the parents separated. It notes that the nature of the grandparent-grandchild relationship before the break-up of the family is, on this evidence, an important predictor of the post-divorce relationship.

Keywords: grandchildren; grandparents; divorce; family break-up; parental divorce; emotional bond; post-divorce relationship

Chapter.  5236 words. 

Subjects: Marriage and the Family

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