Robert and Sol while the children want to modify how they talk
about their fathers when in the presence of their mothers in order
to protect their feelings.
Baltes’s tenets of human development, when applied to
human communication, also provide worthwhile insights on
particular relational dynamics depicted on Grace and Frankie.
Specifically, plasticity, historical embeddedness (person-
environment interaction), and contextualism (person-environment
interaction) can give us a basic understanding as to why certain
characters in Grace and Frankie communicate in particular ways
(613). Plasticity suggests that both age and life experience have an
impact on our communication skills (Baltes 613). For instance, this
may explain why Brianna, Bud, Mallory, and Coyote find it more
difficult than their parents when it comes to expressing their
feelings about their new familial situation. Historical
embeddedness assumes that historical factors, such as changing
societal views, attitudes, and beliefs influence development (Baltes
613). Therefore, historical embeddedness presumes that younger
people, who have grown up in a time period where expression is
encouraged, are more likely to disclose than people in older
generations, who tend to be more private because they were not
socialized to express concerns, opinions, and emotions. This tenet
is particularly telling for communication between Robert and Sol
and the fact that they waited decades to reveal their true sexuality.
For younger generations watching Grace and Frankie, it might be
difficult to understand why Robert and Sol would wait until they
were nearing the last few decades of their lives to confess their true
sexuality. But, the men grew up in a time when homosexuality was
not discussed and were, therefore, forced to suppress their true
Finally, contextualism states that although the context of
our life experiences varies, there is a connection between traumatic
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