Taking Stock of Theory in Grandparent Studies

Authored by: James S. Bates , Alan C. Taylor

Handbook of Family Theories

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  March  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415879453
eBook ISBN: 9780203075180
Adobe ISBN: 9781135118754


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Modern research on grandparents traces its roots to Neugarten and Weinstein's (1964) classic study of 70 adult dyads who were interviewed about their grandparent role. This study described the degree of comfort experienced in the grandparent role, delineated the significance and meaning of grandparenthood, and outlined the first typology of grandparenting styles. More than two decades later, Cherlin and Furstenberg's (1986) now classic study identified similar grandparenting styles and also explored the symbolic meaning of the grandparent role. This study also explored the exchange of services and support, the functions of a grandparent, grandparents’ selective investment behaviors, and broached the term intergenerational solidarity.

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