Multigenerational households are an understudied type of grandfamily. In rural communities, these households are likely to be economically disadvantaged and underserved. Drawing from a subset (N = 63) of low-income multigenerational households in a multistate research study, Rural Families Speak About Health, the present study compares demographic characteristics, parent and child wellbeing, and family processes in two types of multigenerational household structures: one-parent/grandparent families and two-parent/grandparent families. Research on these multigenerational household configurations is rare despite the potential for different needs, strengths, and services. Results indicate no differences in economic hardship or disadvantage by household type. Children in one-parent/grandparent households were older, and mothers reported providing more elder care than in two-parent/grandparent homes. There were no statistically significant differences in mother or child wellbeing across these family structures. Differences in family processes emerged. Specifically, mothers’ reports of parenting alliances and family routines varied by household type such that mothers in one-parent/grandparent households reported stronger parenting alliances and more stable family routines than those in two-parent/grandparent families. Implications of the findings for service professionals seeking to design and implement family support and prevention programs for grandfamilies, particularly in rural areas, are discussed.
Barnett, M. A.,
(2016). Wellbeing Among Rural Grandfamilies in Two Multigenerational Household Structures. GrandFamilies: The Contemporary Journal of Research, Practice and Policy, 3 (1).
Available at: https://scholarworks.wmich.edu/grandfamilies/vol3/iss1/4