Based on original contributions from leading scholars, this handbook offers critical reviews of variations in grandparenthood (historical, cultural, race, gender), contingencies (transitions, roles, influence, divorce surrogate parenting, adult grandchildren) and interventions (clinical, policies, programs). It also addresses research trends and needed conceptual and theoretical refinements.
The introduction describes trends in grandparenting research since the middle of this century, and offers a brief synopsis of the book's contents as well as specific suggestions for further research. The first part addresses diversity in grandparenting experiences, including historical and demographic trends, racial and ethnic variations, contextual influences with special emphasis on grandparents in rural and farm environments, and gender differences in grandparents' and grandchildren's experiences. The second part focuses on the dynamics and contingencies of grandparenting. Chapters address transitions in grandparents' lives, grandparents' roles, the impact of grandparenting on grandchildren, and grandparenting under special circumstances, such as divorce and surrogate parenting. The third part deals with interventions in grandparenting. Specific issues addressed are clinical interventions and therapy with extended families, policies concerning grandparents' visitations and grandparents as surrogates parents and programs for grandparents. The book's concluding chapter offers suggestions for future research. The work has an extensive comprehensive bibliography and index. This work will be of interest to professionals and students in gerontology, family studies, social services, ethnic studies, gender studies, and sociology.