Revista INFAD 2013

ISSN EDICIÓN EN PAPEL: 0214-9877

Nº1, Vol. 1, pp. 67-74 doi: en trámite
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OS AVÓS COMO REDE SOCIAL DE APOIO DAS FAMÍLIAS DE SEUS FILHOS

Maria Auxiliadora Dessen

Abstract

Grandparents are considered one of the main sources of social support network for the contemporary family. Nevertheless, the literature about the involvement of grandparents in family life is still scarce. The aim of this study was to investigate grandparents’ contributions to their grandchildren’s family. The sample is composed of sixty members from twelve families with high levels of education and income, all living in Brasília, the capital of Brazil. Data collection was carried out in the families’ residence through the administration of a questionnaire to characterize the family system and of a semi-structured interview to detail grandparents’ contributions. The instruments were answered by grandfathers and grandmothers, their children and grandchildren, and their sons-in-law or daughtersin- law. The results show us that grandparents are prominent figures in the contemporary family, being the main source of support for their children’s family. Beyond the emotional support, they also contribute to doing the household tasks and taking care of the grandchildren. According to the grandparents, their major contribution to the grandchildren is the fact that they are present and participate in their lives. The results emphasize the importance of the grandparents for the family and suggest that further researches focus on three generations, going beyond verbal reports.

Keywords: family, grandparents, grandchildren, support network.

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