The Social and Demographic Contours of Contemporary Grandparenthood: Mapping Patterns in Canada and the United States
Although there exists a growing body of literature dedicated to understanding the complexities of grandparenting, few researchers have documented the demographic patterns and social trends that encompass contemporary grandparenthood. Concomitantly, in instances where researchers have described such patterns, data are largely derived from studies profiling American populations. This paper, therefore, examines social trends in grandparenthood and outlines the demographic context within which Canadians participate in grandparent-grandchild relationships. Drawing on nationally representative samples and data derived from both the 1990 and 1995 General Social Surveys of Canada, this study analyzes patterns influencing grandparenthood such as grandparents' rates of survival, the prevalence of grandparenthood, multiple generation families, step-grandparenthood and the availability of grandchildren. In addition, analysis considers rates of intergenerational cohabitation and surrogate parenting as well as grandparents' participation in additional social roles.
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