The present study involved 75 grandparent caregivers (M age = 59) who participated in focus groups targeting their needs and concerns relevant to raising their grandchildren. Based upon a qualitative analysis of group session notes reliably cross referenced across 3 observers, the following themes emerged: 1) Isolation, disenfranchisement, and marginalization with regard to others, 2) Difficulty in dealing with and frustration with the adult child whose child one is raising, 3) The need to be able to cope with one’s own emotions and life situation, 4) Difficulties in coping with the emotional, interpersonal, or behavioral problems of the grandchild, 5) Getting competent, trustworthy, and affordable child (day) care/respite care, 6) Frustration with service providers, 7) Ignorance of what social, medical, psychological, and legal services are available or difficulty in affording or accessing such services, 8) Challenges in managing other life stresses that are superimposed upon or consequences of the demands of raising a grandchild, 9) A lack of legal standing as the grandchild’s caregiver, and 10) A lack of parenting skills and knowledge about child development. Discussed here is the fact that these thematic concerns expressed by grandparent caregivers have a number of implications for grandfamilies’ mental and physical health, access to services, the lessening of isolation and stigmatization among such persons, and the design and implementation of interventions for them.
Knight, R. P.,
Page, K. S.,
(2020). Thematic Dimensions of Grandparent Caregiving: A Focus Group Approach. GrandFamilies: The Contemporary Journal of Research, Practice and Policy, 6 (1).
Available at: https://scholarworks.wmich.edu/grandfamilies/vol6/iss1/5