Objectives. As grandparents are continuing to take on the responsible of raising their grandchildren in the absence of parents much attention in the literature is given to women. Little is known about the adjustment that older men make in these families. This study explored the experiences of grandfathers raising grandchildren.

Methods. Data were gathered by semi-structured interviews in a rural community in southeastern North Carolina and analyzed using a qualitative content analysis mode. Twenty-six men, age 65+, who were responsible for the care of at least one grandchild, participated.

Results. Eighty-one percent (N = 21) reported that their perception of powerlessness occurred either in the role transition or in the activities of daily parenting. Many expected to continue experiencing powerlessness throughout the parenting of the child.

Discussion. Grandfathers experience powerlessness that has not been reported in the literature on grandmothers raising grandchildren. Results affirm the need for special attention to elderly men who take on the role of parent for their grandchildren.

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