alues children and adults are exposed to and must respond to in some way, multigenerational bonds gain increasing importance to the success of marriage and family partnerships and to the well-being of children. More researchers are attending to this area of inquiry. Cultural variation is a particularly intriguing target of focus because America, like most other countries, is increasingly culturally diverse, through immigration and refugee intake.
Sociologists have long debated family change and family influence. The debate involves basically four arguments, the first introduced by family sociology pioneer, Burgess, the second by Popenoe, the third by Stacey and other feminist researchers, and the fourth by Bengtson, who outlined them as follows (Bengtson, V., 2001):
He points out that grandparents are living longer and therefore participating in the grandchildren’s lives more. In many cases, grandparents and step-grandparents are raising grandchildren and great-grandchildren, are helping to support or shelter adult children and their offspring. They serve as role models and points of stability (Bengtson, V., 2001).
Bengtson is interested in intergenerational solidarity which, he claims has the following dimensions: affectual (sentiments), associational (contact frequency), consensual (agreement), functional (assistance), normative (expectations), structural (reflecting geographic proximity) (Bengtson, V., 2001). He sees multigenerational bonds and multigenerational functions as gaining increasing importance to the evolving shape of the American Family.
Hunter’s research (Hunter, A., 1997) indicates that Black American parents most often claim grandmothers are the ones they can rely on for help with child care and parental guidance. Both mothers and fathers noted relying on them for child care assistance, and primarily mothers noted relying on them also for parenting advice. Mothers cited family closeness, number of generations in family lineage, rural