A New Niche? The Theory of Grandfather Involvement
A multitude of factors influence the role a grandfather plays in his family. This chapter presents an interdisciplinary perspective of grandfathering, incorporating research from the fields of evolutionary biology, sociology, economics and psychology. Examples will be used to show how these perspectives complement rather than compete with each other. A range of influences on grandfathering operating at the individual, familial and broader economic and cultural levels will be examined. Evidence points to grandfathering filling a new niche in modern societies: changing demographics mean there is greater need and opportunity for actively engaged grandfathers to help their families, especially in times of need. Recent empirical findings will be used to illustrate these points, providing a basis for the more detailed information presented throughout the following chapters.
KeywordsGrandfathers Interdisciplinary perspectives Grandfathering Grandparental investment Grandchild development
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