Please answer the following discussion with significant content. Please use a minimum of two paragraphs. APA FORMAT IS A MUST.

1. Each post should attempt to move the conversation forward. Avoid responses that are limited to “I agree” or “Great idea,” etc. If you agree (or disagree) with a posting, explain why by supporting your statement with concepts from the readings using citations and references and/or by bringing in a related example or experience.

2. Scholarly sources must be used in each post. Personal experience and opinion are valuable, but they become increasingly meaningful with support from scholarly research. Please be sure to consult and reference scholarly sources such as books (academic books from publishers such as Sage or Oxford University Press are good sources) and peer-reviewed research found in journals.

3. When referencing a source, please be sure to paraphrase and cite the reference in APA format. Direct quotes should be avoided when possible. If direct quotes are used, they must be cited appropriately using correct APA style, and the quote should be explained in your own words. Direct quoting can be seen as a weakness in academic writing and should be used sparingly, if at all.

4. Writing should be polished. Be cautious to avoid grammatical and spelling errors.

5. APA format for all in-text citations and references is required.

Background Information: Rights of Grandparents

1. As family structures have changed due to increases in divorce and single parenting, the role of grandparents has also changed. As a result, more decisions about grandparents’ visitation rights are being made by courts and state legislatures. Since the mid-1970s, all 50 states have passed laws granting grandparents the right to petition the courts for legally enforced visitation privileges. Before this time period, grandparents had no rights to their grandchildren except by consent of the children’s parents.

2. Early court decisions (e.g., Odell v. Lutz, 1947) emphasized parental autonomy and ruled that grandparent visitation rights would undermine parental authority. In fact, it was stated that grandparent visitation rights could subject children to intergenerational conflict (e.g., Noll v. Noll,1950). These rulings also went along with the long tradition that the legal system should only intervene in the family in extreme circumstances. Early granting of grandparent visitation rights (e.g., Benner v. Benner, 1952) came in cases in which the grandchildren had lived with the grandparents for extended periods, or in cases in which the parents were deemed “unfit,” and the grandparents were given custody.

3. Consider the landmark case of Troxel v. Granville (2000). In 2000, based on this case, the United States Supreme Court placed limits on the grandparent visitation laws. The court concluded that parents who provide adequate care for their children must be able to decide with whom their children will associate. To leave such decisions up to a judge, in the view of the Supreme Court, would conflict with parents’ basic constitutional rights.

4. Discussion Question:

Discuss the pros and cons of regulated and enforced grandparent visitation rights. Part of your answer and discussion should involve the roles that grandparents play in grandchildren’s lives (e.g., alternative caregivers, playmates, family historians and transmitters of family values and traditions, advice-givers to parents). Also consider how to resolve intergenerational conflict, how to determine the “children’s best interests,” the consequences of grandparent visitation rights on family functioning, and how to resolve the grandparent policy.

Sources to Consider:

Required Text: Santrock, J., (2010). Essentials of Life-Span Development 5th Edition. New York, NY: McGraw Hill Education (CHAPTERS 5-8)

Sources to help you think about this question:



Thompson, R. A., Tinsley, B. R., Scalora, M. J., & Parke, R. D. (1989). Grandparents’ visitation rights: Legalizing the ties that bind. American Psychologist, 44,1217–1222.

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