This chapter reviews the grandparent–grandchild relationship when grandparents are healthy, when they contract chronic illness and are in need of care, and when they are in the process of dying. It includes the particular aspects of health because each has the potential to play an important role in the grandparent–grandchild relationship. For example, as some leisure activities require a certain level of physical ability, research on leisure and grandparent–grandchildren time together may reflect grandparents’ health. Finally, the cognitive health of grandparents may play a role in how grandparents and their grandchildren interact. The process of aging is associated with a broad range of unique and often simultaneous declines, including physical, cognitive, and psychological changes. As age-associated illnesses arise and develop there may be instances, although not common, where grandchildren are so involved in their grandparents’ life that they become a caregiver for their ill grandparent.
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Over the last decade, there has been tremendous growth in scholarly and professional interest in grandparents raising grandchildren. This chapter refers to grandparents who are raising their grandchildren as custodial grandparents and their families as grandfamilies. Despite the many negatives often linked to grandparent caregiving, such grandparents are dedicated to the welfare of their grandchildren, are resilient and resourceful in coping with the challenges of raising a grandchild, and must be understood in terms of the social–interpersonal, developmental, cultural, and policy-related contexts in which they care for grandchildren. Good physical health is also protective in nature for custodial grandparents, though not all research supports this conclusion. Relative to physical health, the mental health concerns of grandparents raising their grandchildren has received less attention. Life-span developmental theory emphasizes multiple antecedents of developmental change.
This chapter provides specific guidelines and examples of how to communicate effectively with attorneys, conduct interviews with parents and children, make recommendations for custody and visitation, write reports, and successfully testify in court. It includes forms for taking interview notes, templates for writing reports, examples of actual reports, sample visitation schedules, and case studies. The session with each parent is where the evaluator begins to understand the issues of the case. It is during these interviews when each parent gets to tell the evaluator what happened in the past, what is happening now, and what he or she thinks would work best for the child with regard to custody and visitation. This time is when one begins to understand the case in terms of parenting skills, communication skills, emotional involvement, flexibility, caregiving, and potential ability to coparent. The parent must understand the boundaries on confidentiality.
This chapter discusses the roles of counselors in family court and provides step-by-step guidelines on how to expand one’s counseling practice to include family forensic services. It examines myths and misunderstandings regarding forensic family practice. It is important for an evaluator who works in family court to have a clear understanding of what is true and what is not when it comes to work in family law. Years ago mental health professionals were trained that children, given the passage of time, suffered no lasting effects from divorce. People generally believed that children “snapped out” of any emotional or behavioral problems caused by a divorce. Mothers were often automatically assumed to be the child’s primary caregivers and were thus granted primary custody. But over the years research has shown that although mothers are important in a child’s life, fathers are equally important.
All the cases that come before an evaluator are difficult and high-conflict, but some cases bring special circumstances that pose additional dilemmas to the evaluator. The general guidelines for parenting plan are to provide stability for the child. Young children, especially those younger than age 3, need a parenting plan that preserves their primary attachment with their primary caregiver parent. Children who are exposed to long-term parental conflict are more likely to have academic problems; to be more aggressive, sexually active, anxious, depressed, and withdrawn; to abuse alcohol and other illegal substances; and to come into conflict with the juvenile and adult justice systems. A parent who has been away or absent for a lengthy period needs to build trust gradually and allow the child to get to know him or her. There are probably other guidelines one can think of that are also reasonable for all cases.
This chapter details the elements of counseling with children and adolescents that are essential to setting a solid stage for deeper work. It covers the techniques addressing the initial contact and important contextual issues, such as setting up a child- and adolescent-friendly office space. Initial contact sets the stage for the therapeutic alliance. Research has shown that educating clients about counseling improves treatment progress and outcome, attendance, and helps to prevent premature termination. Counseling provides a safe, nonjudgmental space in which clients can self-reflect; identify strengths; experiment with new ideas of self and ways of being; and learn effective emotional regulation, relationship, and life skills. Beginning counseling can be quite stressful for some children and their caregivers, and breaking down barriers is essential. Once relationships are established and counseling is flowing naturally, both the counselor and the client feel more relaxed.
This book deals with a number of issues and strategies for counseling people with disabilities. It allows counselors and other related health professionals to learn from the writings of 16 people with disabilities across North America. The book provides information on how other professional disciplines perceive and are trained to view disability. It discusses the medical and psychosocial aspects of caregiving in the country and highlights some of the most difficult decisions individuals and families may have to make in this process. The book is organized into four parts containing sixteen chapters. Part I explores disability from a sociological perspective. The topics covered are: the history of how people with disabilities have been viewed and treated in society; attitude formation, societal attitudes, and myths about disabilities; culturally different issues and attitudes toward disability; and attitudes toward disability by specific special interest and occupational groups. Part II focuses on the psychology of disability surrounding the individual and his or her family. The topics address: theories of adjustment to disability by the individual; family adaptation across cultures toward a loved one who is disabled; sexuality and disability; and the psychosocial world of the injured worker. Part III addresses pertinent topics concerning psychosocial issues of disability. The topics include: disability and quality of life over the life span; implications of social support and caregiving of loved ones with a disability; and thriving versus succumbing to disability: psychosocial factors and positive psychology. Part IV addresses counseling strategies and insights for working with persons with disabilities. The topics discuss: which counseling theories and techniques work best with different disability populations and why; social justice, oppression, and disability; counseling families in the community; ethical responsibilities in working with persons with disabilities and our duty to educate; and basic dos and don’ts in counseling persons with disabilities.
The foregoing examination of the neural substrates of information processing serves as a platform from which one examines the expression of different types of disruption of consciousness. However, given that a number of disorders of consciousness are developmental in origin—that is, they occur during human neural maturation and growth—certain precepts of human development must first be illustrated in order to fully realize the diverse spectrum of ways in which consciousness can fall into disrepair. The right brain is centrally involved not only in processing social–emotional information, promoting attachment functions, and regulating bodily and affective states, but also in the organization of vital functions supporting survival and enabling the organism to cope dynamically with stress. The maturation of these adaptive right-brain regulatory capacities is experience dependent, embedded in the attachment connection between the infant and its primary caregivers. Thus attachment theory is an affect-regulatory theory.
Family, friends, and social networks are important to people throughout the life span. Family members can provide social support and resources, increasing an older person’s emotional outlook and self-esteem. On the other hand, family relationships can have negative effects, causing long-term stress and undermining an older person’s health. This chapter outlines the roles that family, friends, and social networks play in older adults’ lives. They are all vital to the physical, psychological, and social well-being of older adults. The chapter explores family, friends, and social networks of older adults, with a particular focus on intimate relationships, relationships between older people and their adult children, and the various roles grandparents play in the lives of their grandchildren. It outlines the responsibilities of family caregivers. Given the toll caregiving can take, the Practical Application presented at the end of the chapter highlights the importance of tending to the needs of the caregiver.
This chapter focuses on Americans at risk for poor economic and health outcomes as they age—women, people of color, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (
LGBT) individuals. It identifies older women, people of color, and members of the LGBTcommunity as being at risk for poverty during their later years. The chapter then explains the impact of caregiving responsibilities, partner status, and living arrangements on economic security of older adults at risk and highlights the detrimental effect of health inequities on their health outcomes. It stresses the importance of preventive health services for older adults at risk. Understanding the needs and risks of women, people of color, and LGBTindividuals is an important part of working in the field of gerontology. The Practical Application presented at the end of the chapter focuses on how to develop that understanding.