A support group is the most widely used intervention for grandparents and other relatives raising children. Support groups require few resources to establish and are relatively inexpensive to implement. Despite the popularity of support groups for grandfamilies, there is little evidence evaluating their effectiveness to improve the lives of its members. In response to this issue and to support outcome-based research in the field, the Grandfamilies Outcome Workgroup (GrOW) was established. This study highlights GrOW’s review of the literature on the effectiveness of support groups for grandfamilies. Next, the GrOW Inventory of Support Groups (GrOW Inventory) was developed to explore some of the variations and commonalities found in the literature and GrOW members’ experiences facilitating or sponsoring groups in their own communities. Results from this inventory helped to identify important concepts that inform specific goals and outcomes related to groups. Widely used measures with notable reliability and validity are provided. This study explores the commonalities and complexities of support groups and supports the future development of a more comprehensive assessment tool to measure a wide variety of outcomes for support groups.
Littlewood, K. A.
(2014). Grandfamilies Outcome Workgroup’s (GrOW) review of grandfamilies support groups: An examination of concepts, goals, outcomes and measures. GrandFamilies: The Contemporary Journal of Research, Practice and Policy, 1 (1).
Available at: http://scholarworks.wmich.edu/grandfamilies/vol1/iss1/3