The Physical and Emotional Health of Grandmothers Raising Grandchildren in the Crack Cocaine Epidemic

School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley 94720.
The Gerontologist (Impact Factor: 3.21). 01/1993; 32(6):752-61. DOI: 10.1093/geront/32.6.752
Source: PubMed


This article explores the physical and emotional health status of 71 African-American grandmothers raising their grandchildren as a result of the crack cocaine involvement of the children's parents. A comparison of self-assessed health ratings with qualitative responses revealed a tendency for respondents to downplay their own health problems and symptoms.

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    • "Common sources of stress involved changes in the grandparents' lifestyle as a result of raising grandchildren. Jendrek (1993) reported that 86% of grandparents had to alter their usual routines and plans, and other researchers have indicated a decrease in time available for recreational and social activities (Kolomer & McCallion, 2005; Minkler et al., 1992; Pruchno, 1999). "
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    ABSTRACT: Occupational science research has identified important linkages between occupation and health and well-being, especially in older women. This study used comparative case analysis to further illuminate the effect that providing care to grandchildren has on grandmothers' occupational lives and how it affects their well-being. Seven grandmothers provided different levels of care to their grandchildren, which directly related to the types of occupations they engaged in together and to the grandmothers' occupational balance and satisfaction. Our major finding was that a threat to grandmothers' well-being was caused by the extent of disruption in meaningful occupations resulting from childcare responsibilities and occupations while limited caregiving provided meaningful occupations. These findings indicate a concern for those grandmothers who must assume major new child rearing responsibilities, whereas those participants with enhancing or supplemental grandparent occupations find these to be very positive, with minimal disruption of their other meaningful occupations and social supports.
    Journal of Occupational Science 04/2007; 14(1-1):40-51. DOI:10.1080/14427591.2007.9686582
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    • "The possibility of a Type II error, meaning failing to find significant differences when they exist, may be present because of the small sample size. On the other hand, the results confirm and extend the findings of other studies (Burton, 1992; Dowdell, 1995; Emick & Hayslip, 1999; Kelley, 1993; Minkler et al., 1992; Musil, 1998) by indicating the potential stressful nature of grandparent caregiving and coping strategies that may be useful. Although findings indicated that this sample was a highly stressed group, the potential exists that the sites utilized (churches and senior centers) may have provided some social support for their memberships; thus, the degree of stress may actually be underestimated in this study. "
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    ABSTRACT: Over the years, substantial increases have occurred in the number of children being raised by their grandparents. A small number of studies have reported that grandparents raising grandchildren experience an increase in stress due to the demands of caregiving. The primary objectives of this study were to: (1) determine the degree of stress in African American (AA) grandparents who are raising their grandchildren age 12 years or younger; (2) identify the variables pertaining to the demographic characteristics of the grandparent caregiver and characteristics of the caregiving situation; (3) identify the coping strategies reported by AA grandparents; and (4) identify the relative importance of demographic and situational variables pertaining to the grandparent caregiver and caregiving situation, and coping strategies in influencing the degree of stress experienced. An exploratory, descriptive, cross sectional design was used to study stress and coping in 50 AA grandparents who ranged in age from 44-87 years (M = 63.12). Data were collected via one personal interview in January/February 2001 at area senior centers or churches which the grandparent attends in Harris County, Texas. Five home interviews were done as requested by grandparents. The instruments used to measure stress and coping were the Parenting Stress Index developed by Abidin and Folkman and Lazarus' Ways of Coping Questionnaire. Results of the study found that the grandparents is this study were a highly stressed group. Ninety-four percent of the sample demonstrated a "clinically significant" level of stress. Situational variables associated with lower stress levels were use of counseling, use of special school programs such as tutoring and special education, and increased length of caregiving (>5 years). The most frequently used coping strategies overall were seeking social support and positive reappraisal. Six coping strategies were significantly correlated to lower reported stress: positive reappraisal, accepting responsibility, confrontive coping, self-control, planful problem solving, and distancing. The findings from this study have limited generalizability. Nonetheless, this study was useful in adding to the limited amount of literature on AA grandparents who are rearing their grandchildren. The results clearly suggest the need for affordable counseling, support groups, education related to available resources, stress management, and interventions that increase the use of coping strategies found to reduce perceived stress. Future research should investigate levels of stress in AA and other grandparent caregivers longitudinally, as well as focus on stress and coping in grandparents raising grandchildren with special needs.
    Journal of Family Issues 07/2006; 27(7). DOI:10.1177/0192513X06287167 · 1.03 Impact Factor
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    • "em. Social welfare agencies both in the USA and the UK both prefer and are mandated to look to the extended family as a first port of call where children are taken out of parental care (Kelley 1993). However, the almost exclusively US literature on extended family care puts pay to the notion that the assumption of care is in any way unproblematic (Minkler et al . 1992; Roe et al . 1994). A strong underlying cultural ethos of the family assumes that children are better served within the family, that kin support is beneficial and that kin networks are stable and willingly supportive (Cramer & McDonald 1996). Cutting across this, however, is the evidence of financial hardship, conflict, strain and insta"
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    ABSTRACT: Using qualitative data gathered from 62 problem drug using parents in Glasgow, Scotland, this paper explores the role played by the extended family in protecting children from some of the negative effects of parental drug use. However, the data also indicated that the intervention of the extended family, whilst often critical, was not without its tensions and difficulties for parents, for the extended family and for the children too. What seemed to obtain in most cases was a complex and volatile mix of practical and emotional concerns over children's appropriate care and issues of responsibility and obligation to the child. These in turn were overlaid by expressions of anxiety, worry, anger and disappointment over both the parent's drug problem and its profound effect on the family. Strained family dynamics and a lack of a supportive welfare infrastructure can all compromise the ability of kin to provide a stable, nurturing environment for children over time. In a worst case scenario it can lead to a breakdown of these care arrangements, leaving these already vulnerable children exposed to further rupture, emotional damage and instability. If we are to avoid such outcomes it is crucial that we first identify and then work to rectify those factors that compromise the abilities of extended family carers to look after these children both in the short and the longer term.
    Child & Family Social Work 10/2003; 8(4):291 - 299. DOI:10.1046/j.1365-2206.2003.00297.x · 0.93 Impact Factor
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