Reference : Children and intergenerational relationships: the relations between grandparents and ...
Scientific congresses, symposiums and conference proceedings : Unpublished conference
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology : Education & instruction
Children and intergenerational relationships: the relations between grandparents and grandchildren from children’s perspectives.
Ramos, Anne Carolina mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Integrative Research Unit: Social and Individual Development (INSIDE) >]
Childhood: a persons project
18-07-2013 to 20-07-2013
[en] grandchildren ; grandparents ; contemporary families
[en] In recent years a large number of factors have affected intergenerational relations. Greater life expectancy and a reduction in the fecundity rate have brought significant consequences for individuals, family structures and society in general: the elderly population has grown, the number of children has shrunk and families have become more vertical. On the other hand, the increase in the number of divorces, separations and remarriages has changed the way that generations interact in family settings and produced a greater diversity of such relations. Various studies have investigated this new state of affairs, but few have paid attention to the children, who are almost always excluded from such investigations. The present study aims to make up for the invisibility of children in intergenerational studies, focusing on the way in which relations between grandparents and grandchildren are lived by children in different family structures. The study is thus based on the testimony of thirty-six girls and boys, aged between seven and ten years, from nuclear, single-parent, reconstituted and cohabiting middle-class families from the city of Porto Alegre, in the South region of Brazil. The children talk about the way they live in these different families and the contact they have with their grandparents in this context, with a strong inclination to favor the mother’s side of the family. They also talk about competition between the maternal and paternal line, grandparents becoming distant and even breakdowns in intergenerational contact, caused mainly by break-ups and reconstituted families. Intergenerational relations are interpreted by children as interactive and mutually educational, which means that they have great decision-making power in the creation of these ties and play a very active role in the networks of support between generations. These are perspectives that breathe new life into and reshape contemporary studies of childhood, aging and intergenerational relations.

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