ERIC Number: ED265443
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1985-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Marital Instability and the Changing Kinship Networks of Grandparents.
Johnson, Colleen Leahy; Barer, Barbara
Divorce and remarriage may pose special problems for the grandparent-child-grandchild relationship. The kinship relationships after divorce have not been institutionalized; there are not generally accepted forms of behavior. To examine the role of grandmothers in the divorce of their children, 50 parent-grandmother pairs were interviewed. The sample came from white, middle-class families; one-half consisted of maternal grandmothers and the other half was made up of paternal grandmothers. Since one-half of the grandmothers were over age 65 and one-half were under age 65, various stages in the family cycle were represented. Kinship reorganization includes three types of relatives--blood relatives, relatives of divorce, and relatives of remarriage. The interview data identified the emergence of at least five basic types of change in the kinship system: (1) contraction with divorce; (2) replacement with remarriage; (3) retention through in-law coalition; (4) expansion by divorce and remarriage of multiple children; and (5) two-generation divorce and remarriage chains. The data indicated that paternal grandmothers were more likely to maintain relationships with former daughters-in-law than were maternal grandmothers with former sons-in-law. Grandmothers with expanding kinship systems reported having more permissive and flexible values on divorce. The findings showed that expanding kinship systems did not result in more sound support, but rather in a loosely-knit network. The relationships will continue to be followed. (ABL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. on Aging (DHHS/NIH), Bethesda, MD.
Authoring Institution: N/A