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

ArticleinThe Gerontologist 32(6):752-61 · January 1993with15 Reads
DOI: 10.1093/geront/32.6.752 · Source: PubMed
Abstract
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.
    • "They found that the service differential between kinship foster parents and non-relative foster parents was approximately 1 to 4 for parent training and 1to 7 for access to respite care and support groups. Evidence from the U.K. suggests that the paucity of services available to kinship foster parents may contribute to feelings of stress in caring for children (Farmer, 2009); other studies point to the significant burden grandparents may experience in caring for their relative children (Dolbin-MacNab, 2006; Minkler, Roe, & Price, 1992; Smith-Ruiz, 2009), especially those caring for foster children with access to a child-only subsidy (Blair & Taylor, 2008). Studies have yet to examine the extent to which service receipt is influenced by factors unrelated to the offerings of child welfare workers (e.g., access to services, knowledge about services, culturally responsive offers and outreach, the perceived affordability of services). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Kinship foster parents have the same responsibilities as nonrelative foster parents and are held to the same standards of rehabilitative care. Nonetheless, their rights to financial supports and their access to other services vary across states depending on the federal eligibility of the child, and/or the licensing criteria caregivers may or may not meet. We know little about the financial supports, well-being, or services of kinship caregivers receiving differential payment schemes and whether or not these financial supports and services make any difference. More fundamentally, in states that operate two- or more -tiered funding schemes for kinship foster parents, we currently cannot even estimate what proportion of kin caregivers receive more, less, or nothing from the government, even though all are entitled to something. Kin and non-kin caregivers in two California counties responded to a written survey focused on the financial wellbeing and income supports available to families. Sources of support were associated with the availability and utilization of other child welfare services for caregivers and for children.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2016
    • "Early studies showed both a negative association between grandparental care and health problems, with poor physical and psychological health among grandparents with primary care responsibility for a grandchild (Grinstead et al., 2003;), and a positive relationship, with some grandparent caregivers describing higher quality of life and better health including weight loss and smoking cessation (Breeze & Stafford, 2010; Jendrek, 1993; Minkler, Roe, & Price, 1992). However, the health differences reported in these cross-sectional and often small-scale studies may reflect variations in socioeconomic status rather than in caregiving per se (Breeze & Stafford, 2010; Grinstead et al., 2003; Jendrek, 1993; Minkler, Roe, & Price, 1992). Fewer studies that have investigated the longitudinal relationship between grandparental childcare and health (largely based on U.S. data) have also led to mixed results. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Grandparents are an important source of childcare. However, caring for grandchildren may affect grandparents' health in both positive and negative ways. Our study examines the association between grandparental childcare and grandparents' health at 2- and 4-year follow-up. Our study is based on grandparents aged 50 and older from Waves 1-4 of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE). Using multivariate analyses, we investigated associations between intensive and nonintensive grandparental childcare at Wave 2 and subsequent health (self-rated health, depressive symptoms, and disability) controlling for covariates and health at baseline. Associations between changes over time in grandparental childcare and health at follow-up were also explored. Multiple imputation techniques and sensitivity analyses were undertaken to investigate possible biases arising from sample attrition. Grandparents looking after grandchildren, whether intensively or nonintensively, experienced some health benefits. Associations strengthened when attrition was accounted for, particularly if it is assumed that those who dropped out of the study were in poor health. Our results show better health among grandparents who provided grandchild care in the European countries studied. These results are important given the widespread provision of grandchild care in Europe. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2015
    • "These findings are particularly worrying in light of the existing psychosocial stresses associated with acting as a custodial grandparent; declining health may further undermine the capacity of custodial grandparents to cope with the stresses and demands of parenting, exacerbating and entrenching these concerns. Additionally, research has suggested that, when compared to other parent groups, custodial grandparents tend to downplay or ignore any physical or emotional distress, rather than address it (Minkler, Roe, & Price, 1992). Wellard (2010) reported that in one focus group of 12 custodial grandmothers, several participants stated that they were reluctant to ask for help when they were unwell, due to concerns about being perceived as being unable to care for their grandchild. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of the current study was to explore the relationship between the psychological health of grandparents raising grandchildren, and those grandchildren's social, emotional and behavioural issues. The study also assessed the relationship between psychological well-being in grandparents and access to informal social support. The sample comprised 100 grandparents who were raising grandchildren. Regression analyses revealed that grandparents caring for grandchildren with abnormal emotional and hyperactive symptoms scored higher on measures of anxiety, stress, and depression, and were more likely to report less life satisfaction. Grandparents with greater access to informal support experienced less depression, although greater access to informal social support did not lessen the impact of raising grandchildren with social, emotional, or behavioural issues. Implications for intervention and policy are discussed.
    Article · Mar 2015
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