Generational Relationships Nontraditional grandparenting roles Non-normative romantic relationships Catharine Zata Jones and Michael Douglas
Generation: ◦ Roughly 30 years ◦ Average period between when children grow up and birth their offspring. Cross-generational: ◦ Skipping over one generation to the next
For younger people, most high quality communication occurs with grandparents ◦ Most frequent ◦ First source of intergenerational communication Mutually beneficial ◦ Grandchild has a more effective transition to adulthood ◦ Grandparent has a higher social interaction and life satisfaction (Harwood, 2007)
Closer to grandmothers than grandfathers Closer to maternal grandmother Grandchildren are more fond of healthier and younger grandparents Why do you think that might be?
Affiliation: Expression of love Pride: Express accomplishments to others Exchange: Describing what they do for their grandchild and what their grandchildren do for them Distance: Geographically distant or distant due to grandchild’s parents
Grandparents are celebrated Founded by Marian McQuade Originally started to help the lonely elderly in nursing homes Hoped to persuade grandchildren to gain knowledge and history Celebrated the first Sunday after Labor Day ◦ September 9, 2012 ◦ Grandparents Day Grandparents Day
Off-time Grandparents Typically very young If one becomes a grandparent to early, they may not feel “ready” and will resist the identity role that is expected ◦ Working full time ◦ Raising children of their own ◦ Difficulty integrating children with grandchild ◦ How might this be hard for the parent as well? Divorce ◦ Leads to grandparent rights ◦ Especially hard if grandchild is not with custodial parent
Grandparents raising grandchildrengrandchildren Strengths: ◦ Pride ◦ Joy ◦ Feeling of being needed Hardships: ◦ Social isolation ◦ Shifts in social networks ◦ Physical, emotional, psychological strain ◦ Examples?
Grandparents raising grandchildren: negotiating the complexities of role-identity conflict Feelings of disappointment and frustration Lack of adequate financial and social support Foster cares appreciated for what they do, while they were expected to do the same job without government support Felt unjustly blamed (Backhouse and Graham, 2011)
Grandparents are taking on a more predictable parent role Problem lies with middle generation issues ◦ substance abuse ◦ child abuse ◦ neglect ◦ teenage pregnancy ◦ HIV/AIDS ◦ parental unemployment (Turner and West, 2006)
Defined Violates social norms with regard to partner age differences and romantic involvement Evolutionary Theory Men select women who are able to bare children ◦ Men can be with young women because men are more fertile later in age than women Women select men who can provide them security and commitment Men accept women -15 yrs., women accept men +10 yrs (Cupach, 2011) Have these roles changed?
Society does not favor older women dating younger men. ◦ The term cougar is coinedcougar ◦ Connotative vs. denotative meanings What do you think of this term since men do not have one? Double standard ◦ Older men can date younger women ◦ Negative connotation with women dating younger men Why do you think this is a double standard? Hue Hefner
Extreme cases ◦ Hollywood Hollywood ◦ News Story News Story Which is more acceptable?
Negative Assumptions ◦ Power imbalance-male vs. female ◦ Clashes of personal values- evolutionary theory ◦ Less support-family, friends, society Positive Assumptions ◦ Increase life satisfaction (grandparent to grandchild) ◦ Less jealousy ◦ More trust
Older women/younger men: A look at the implications of age difference in marriage Women reported to being attracted to younger men before marriage Half of the couples interviewed for the study agreed that there were issues with power, money and work in different developmental stages Some hesitant to tell others about relationship for fear of judgment prior to marriage Men saw women's maturity and stability as advantage (Proulx, Caron & Logue, 2006)
Changing the scripts: Midlife women’s sexuality in contemporary US film Society is embracing phenomenon of the cougar through media ◦ TV land’s The Cougar and NBC Age of Love ◦ Potential market is baby boomer women ◦ This programming embraces a women’s sexuality ◦ However, these women are “trimmed, dyed and fit” and do not match the average looking 40 year old women (Weitz, 2009)
How are the non-normative relationships represented in other cultures? ◦ Mostly looked at in the Western societies ◦ May be different in areas where arranged marriages are customary Further research will look at a more diverse sample in age gap romances ◦ Homosexual or lesbian couples ◦ Interracial relationships (Cupach, 2011)
Backhouse, J., & Graham, A. (2012). Grandparents raising grandchildren: Negotiating the complexities of role-identity conflict. Child & Family Social Work, 17(3), 306-315. Connor, S. (2006). Grandparents raising grandchildren: Formation, disruption and intergenerational transmission of attachment. Australian Social Work, 59(2), 172-184. Cupach, W. R., & Spitzberg, B, H. (2011). The dark side of close relationships II. New York: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group. Harwood, J. (2007). Understanding communication and aging. Los Angeles: Sage Publications.
National Grandparents Day Council. Grandparents Day.(2012). National grandparents day. Date Retrieved October 30, 2012 from http://www.grandparents-day.com/ Proulx, N., Caron, S. L., & Logue, M. (2006). Older women/younger men: A look at the implications of age difference in marriage. Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy, 5(4), 43-64. Turner, L. H., & West, R. (2006). The family communication sourcebook. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications. Weitz, R. (2010). Changing the scripts: Midlife women’s sexuality in contemporary U.S. film. Sexuality & Culture, 14(1), 17-32.