Communication

Articles in this section deal with topics of communication and grandfamilies: including caregiver-child relationships and insight into global perspectives on kinship care.

1. Chen, Feinian, Guangya Liu, and Christine A. Mair. “Intergenerational ties in context: Grandparents caring for grandchildren in China.” Social Forces 90, no. 2 (2011): 571-594.

This article looks into the phenomenon of grandparents raising grandchildren in contemporary China. Using data from the China Health and Nutrition Survey, the authors examine the structural and functional solidarity in relationships between grandparents and grandchildren. A few aspects of Chinese society point to intergenerational solidarity: high grandparent-grandchild co-residence, a large number of skipped-geneation households and the extensive childcare contributions by non-coresidential grandparents and coresidential grandparents, alike.

2. Cornelius, Judith Bacchus, Sara LeGrand, and Loretta Jemmott. “African American grandparents’ and adolescent grandchildren’s sexuality communication.” Journal of family nursing (2008).

This article concerns the difficulty African American grandparents face in communicating with their adolescent grandchildren on topics of sexual health. It relies on data from a study of 40 grandparent- grandchild pairs, which asked both grandparents and grandchildren their feelings about sexuality communication.

3. Kamnuansilpa, Peerasit, and Supawatanakorn Wongthanavasu. “Grandparents’ Relationships with Grandchildren in Thailand.” Journal of Intergenerational Relationships 3, no. 1 (2005): 49-66.

This study combines qualitative and quantitative methods to examine the existing natural bonds and linkages between grandparents and grandchildren in northeast Thailand. The results of the study revealed large amounts of variation in time and energy older people devoted to younger people.

4. Poehlmann, Julie. “An attachment perspective on grandparents raising their very young grandchildren: Implications for intervention and research.” Infant Mental Health Journal 24, no. 2 (2003): 149-173.

This article applies the attachment theory to grandfamilies in which grandparents are raising very young grandchildren. The article’s aim is to examine the complexity of intergenerational relationships and to guide early support services and research concerning these types of families. The author proposes that, as grandparents take responsibility for their grandchildren, three relationship processes simultaneously occur: (1) disruptions in attachments potentially occur, especially in relationships involving parents, (2) attachment relationships between grandchildren and grandparents develop or are revised, and (3) family members’ internal working models of attachment and caregiving are challenged and shaped.

5. Settles, Barbara H., Jia Zhao, Karen Doneker Mancini, Amanda Rich, Shawneila Pierre, and Atieno Oduor. “Grandparents caring for their grandchildren: Emerging roles and exchanges in global perspectives.” Journal of Comparative Family Studies (2009): 827-848

This article looks at the issue of grandparents caring for grandchildren on a global scale and across different cultures. The authors discuss how in many contemporary societies normative family arrangements (e.g. parents and children) have come under strain due to various demographic, economic and medical changes. Grandfamilies are then discussed in the ways they respond to changing circumstances and needs.