Grandparents/Grandchildren : The Vital Connection book cover
1st Edition

The Vital Connection

ISBN 9780878559947
Published January 30, 1984 by Routledge
340 Pages

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $52.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

In this book Kornhaber and Woodward explore the vital connections that link generations to each other and expose a new social contract that destroys the emotional bonds between grandparents and grandchildren.This is the first book that reviews, in a careful ethnographic manner, the relationship of grandchildren to grandparents and the place of love at one end and abandonment at the other by grandparents. The authors probe the deep, unexplored emotional histories of hundreds of grandparents: how they feel about themselves, their grandchildren, and their loss of function within today's nuclear family. With sharp increases in the number of broken families and working mothers, grandparents are more vital than ever and also more available than ever. This basic research document shows how grandparents recover their natural role as elders of the family and of society. The authors' basic premise is that to exist is to be connected, and that no matter how grandparents act, they affect the emotional well-being of their grandchildren, for better or for worse, simply because they exist.

Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION, A. Human Connections, B. “Billy”, C. The Disappearing Grandparent, 1: What Grandparents Mean to Grandchildren, A. The Child as Oracle, B. The Method, C. Summary of Projected Drawings, Group I : Close Contact, Group II: Sporadic Contact, Group III: No Contact, D. Commentary, E. The Immortal Grandparent, F. The Substitute Grandparent, 2 : What Grandchildren Mean to Grandparents, A. The Method, B. The Instinct to Nurture, C. Developing Vital Connections, D. Disconnected Grandparents, E. The ‘New Social Contract’, F. Summary of the Grandparent Study, 3: Today’s Grandparents: An Emotional History, A. The Method, B. “The Way Things Were”, C. Places Where Grandparents Used to Be, D. Grandparents as Oracles: Emotional Effects of Social Changes, E. Making Room for Emotions: The Ethos of Work vs. the Ethos of Being, F. Parents: Bearing the Burdens of the New Social Contract, 4 : An Agenda for Grandparents, A. Grandparents and the Aged, B. Roles of Grandparents, C. Assessing Yourself, D. Grandparents as the Foundation of the Family, E. Special Cases: Adopted and Stepchildren, F. Reconciliation and Reunion, G. Primer for Grandparents, 5: Postscript: Requiem APPENDIX A: Grandchild Interview Format, APPENDIX B: Grandchildren’s Response, APPENDIX C: The Grandparent Survey, NOTES, BIBLIOGRAPHY, INDEX

View More



Arthur Kornhaber , M.D., is a member of the American, Academy of Child Psychiatry and the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry. A clinician, medical writer and researcher, he is presently medical director of a Pediatric Neuropsychiatrie Group that treats children and their families. He is also a member of the American Medical Association and the American Psychiatric Association and has received numerous awards for medical research. He lives in Westchester County with his wife and four children., Kenneth L. Woodward is a Senior Writer for Newsweek magazine and a contributor to numerous other publications. Among his more than two dozen cover stories for Newsweek are “Saving the Family,” “Who’s Raising the Kids?” “The Graying of America,” “The Quest for Identity,” and “Living With Dying.” In eighteen years as a journalist, Mr. Woodward has won numerous awards, including the National Media Award from the American Psychological Foundation and the National Magazine Award. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, and a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the University of Iowa, Mr. Woodward lives in Briarcliff Manor, New York, with his wife, Betty and three children.