Grandparents Raising Grandchildren: Stressors, Social Support, and Health Outcomes

Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States
Journal of Family Nursing (Impact Factor: 1.34). 09/2007; 13(3):333-52. DOI: 10.1177/1074840707303841
Source: PubMed


The major purpose of this study was to identify predictors of grandparent caregiver health status. Additional purposes were to describe the physical and emotional health of grandparent caregivers and the perceived benefits of support group attendance. A convenience sample of 42 grandparents was recruited from support groups. Data were collected through telephone interviews. Grandparents who had higher parenting stress reported lower levels of physical, social, and mental health. Inverse correlations were present between life stress and mental health. Positive correlations were found between social support and physical health. No pattern emerged in a comparison of the health of caregiving grandparents and a normative sample. Emotional support was the primary benefit derived from support group attendance. There were modest inverse associations between the length of time the child had lived with the grandparent and six of the eight indicators of grandparent health.

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    • "In addition, the support that informal caregivers receive from friends and families often lessens with age due to increased illness and frailty (Farmer et al, 2013) and death. e growing body of research concerning social support in kinship care has used the Family Support Scale (FSS) to measure social support among caregivers (Littlewood et al, 2013; Kelley et al., 2011; Kelley et al., 2000; Leder, Nicholson Ginstrea, & Torres, 2007). Until recently, no research has been published on the psychometric properties or the underlying factor structure of the FSS when it is used to measure social support among kinship caregivers. "
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    ABSTRACT: Kinship caregiving is a growing and viable form of care for children who would otherwise enter the foster care system. Having a supportive social network is essential to help kin-ship caregivers meet the complex and stressful demands of caring for a young relative, especially the informal kinship caregivers who care for children outside the supervision of the child welfare system. e Family Support Scale (FSS), which was initially developed for families of children with developmental disabilities, is a promising assessment tool for measuring social support among kinship caregivers. e researchers' previous research on the FSS among informal kinship caregivers (2012) suggested that the assessment tool consisted of four latent factors: Spouse/Partner' s Family and Peers, Formal Professional Support , Informal Community Support, and Familial and Peer Support. For the current study, the researchers tested two hypotheses: (a) the FSS among kinship caregivers is comprised of four latent factors, and (b) these four factors comprise a second-order social support latent construct. e hypotheses were tested using a con-rmatory factor analysis. Investigation of model t suggested that the hierarchical model and the four-factor model were comparable. e results build on the authors' initial validation of the FSS and provide beginning support for the construct validity of the FSS among kinship caregivers by demonstrating that the internal structure of the scale is consistent with past research. More research is needed to further evaluate the construct validity of the FSS among kinship caregivers, including assessing the convergent and discriminate validity of the scale.
    Child welfare 01/2015; 93(3):93-110. · 0.59 Impact Factor
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    • "The physical and financial strain resulting from having to support a potentially large number of biological and foster children and/or adults in need of care poses significant risks for caregivers' mental, physical, and social well-being. Research, mainly from the developed world, has shown that stress derived from caregiving responsibilities can negatively affect the social, mental, and physical health of caregivers, including caregivers of individuals with disability or chronic illness (Pinquart & Sorensen, 2007) and caregivers of children (Leder, Grinstead, & Torres, 2007; Musil, Warner, Zauszniewski, Wykle, & Standing, 2009). This has been shown to be especially true for caregivers who are older and/or dealing with higher levels of care-recipient behavior problems (Pinquart & Sorensen, 2007). "
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    ABSTRACT: Increased caregiving burden and HIV-related disability have important implications for affected populations and health and social security systems in southern Africa. Based on a review of HIV, caregiving, and disability literature, and of existing disability models, the authors discuss the potential interrelationships between caregiving and disability in the context of HIV. They develop an exploratory model to illustrate these linkages. Co-existing experiences of disability and caregiving burden may lead to a vicious cycle of deteriorating well-being among affected households and place additional strain on social security systems. HIV may exacerbate this cycle at both a micro and a macro level. Research, policy, and practice should aim to provide more effective synergies between rehabilitation, HIV treatment, care and support, and household livelihood interventions. Particular attention should be paid to the ability of social systems to meet the specific needs of informal care providers with disability and their care recipients.
    The Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care: JANAC 01/2014; 25(4). DOI:10.1016/j.jana.2013.10.001 · 1.27 Impact Factor
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    • "Many experience financial difficulties (Simmons & Dye, 2003), cannot obtain adequate housing (Fuller-Thomson & Minkler, 2003), and need legal assistance for guardianship and custody issues (Letiecq, Bailey, & Porterfield, 2008). Grandchildren may have behavioral problems related to the reasons why they are in their grandparents' care, such as trauma or neglect related to parental drug use (Leder, Grinstead, & Torres, 2007). Some are ethnic minorities and may have culture-specific perceptions of the grandparent role that prevent them from seeking formal assistance (Yancura, 2013; Yancura & Greenwood, 2013). "
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    ABSTRACT: Most in-depth studies of grandparents raising grandchildren use samples recruited from service providers, so little is known about those who do not use formal services. A sample of 200 grandparents registered with a public school district completed a survey on service use and unmet service needs. Of the 131 who did not use services, 82 reported unmet service needs, and 49 reported no needs. Those with unmet needs were younger, more likely to be Native Hawaiian, and less likely to receive public assistance. These findings indicate that some grandparents are falling through the cracks of the service provision network.
    Journal of Gerontological Social Work 06/2013; 56(6). DOI:10.1080/01634372.2013.804471
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