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Divorce, Remarriage, Step Ties and Intergenerational Relations Gero 408 Jan 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "Divorce, Remarriage, Step Ties and Intergenerational Relations Gero 408 Jan 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 Divorce, Remarriage, Step Ties and Intergenerational Relations Gero 408 Jan 2011

2 Introduction The end of long term partnerships and other forms of repartnering affect IG relationships. Three foci-GP’s, Parents and GC. Example-two couple divorce involves, couple, each partner, his/her children, parents, sibs, GP’s, GC’s, in-laws and extended ties. Other variables-Age and Stage, duration and timing of transitions, location, co-residence, economics, assets. Divorce-older parents/Children-divorces are more likely prompted by women, could be an earlier in life divorce, impact on earlier ties and relationships.

3 Impact of Parental Divorce Women with divorced parents report more ambivalence, conflict and negativity in their own relationships. Some fears of financial and emotional dependency There is a greater risk of divorce among children whose parents divorced. See page 205 Parental Divorce and Support Exchanges-Divorced fathers have less contact with children. Contact between adult children and divorced parents has a voluntary and less obligatory character. Divorced parents are less likely to receive help from Adult children, fathers less than mothers. Read pages

4 Parental Divorce Over time, divorced parents and children have less financial aid and instrumental support, advice and companionship than their married peers. Adult children experience declines in family gatherings and celebrations and this impacts contacts and cohesion in extended families. However, the greater the contact with an adult child, the greater the support systems. Factors are limited resources and competing obligations plus declines in commitments. Some adult children have greater independence, more awareness of financial issues and responsibilities.

5 Parental Divorce and Relationship Quality Page 208-Adult children may view divorced parents negatively. Father ties are more negatively affected. Sometimes AC feel either angry or relieved depending on the levels of pre-divorce conflict. Divorce does influence how AC negotiate other relationships and this may depend on the nature of the parent’s marriage. (High/Low conflict) As divorce becomes more normative, negative effects are likely to diminish, and newer cohorts are will experience fewer ill effects.

6 Impact of Child’s Divorce Page 209 This is often seen by parents with shock, sadness, loss, powerlessness, disappointment, confusion and guilt. Lack of awareness by parents may reflect cultural preferences. It may also trigger a re-negotiation of the parent child relationship. Three forms of reorganization-strong intergenerational bond of biological GPs, parent and GC. Nuclear unit of parent and children. A loose knit network with in-laws, ex-spouse, less dependency on parent and changing boundaries. Once you invite in however, you pay the price of loss of privacy and exclusivity. The “Trojan Horse” theory.

7 Support Exchanges Older parents report extensive emotional and instrumental support to children after divorce. Creates ambiguity in family boundaries, ambivalence in parent/child ties and how to become appropriately involved in adult child’s life. Page 210 Daughters with child custody receive more support and contact with parents. There is a quid pro quo issue and this can cause conflict. Divorce does not preclude care for parents when their need for it is clear. Impact on GP/GC ties Lineage (maternal vs paternal) gendered nature of custody, timing of divorce and age of GC’s all impact GP/GC relations

8 Impact of Divorce on GP/GC relations GP’s who are themselves divorced have less contact with GC than married GP’s Single parenting however increases the role of GP Custody in divorce is most often granted to women, therefore the matrilineal links become strengthened at that time. The older the GC, however, the more autonomous they become. Read page Remarriage and IG relations-Remarried parents provide less support to adult children and it may decrease contact. Remarriage makes family relationships more complex with more constellations

9 Remarriage New marriage means new in-laws, new sibs in-law, new step relations. Both age (life stage) and duration of step relationships are significant variables. Parental histories differ and this affects how step ties are negotiated. See page 215 Adult Step child ties-14% of married and cohabiting adults have step children. Most of these couples involve a step- father. Attitudes to exchange-see middle of page 217 and top 218

10 GP/GC Relations About ½ of GP’s whose child remarries see less of GC following remarriage, and ¼ more. Key reasons for less contact are-geographic, GC getting older, custody issues, shifting needs. In 4/5 step-families, the closest GP is the parent of the co- resident, biological parent. Read middle of 218 Three paths to step-GP-marry a GP, acquire through child marriage, or through step-GC In maternal GM, ties to step-GC through SIL are remote. Sons are more likely to be living with step-GC than daughters. Read Summary page 222


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