“Grandfathers and the impact of raising grandchildren.”

Bullock, Karen. J. Soc. & Soc. Welfare 32 (2005): 43.

This article explores the understudied population of grandfathers caring for their grandchildren. Using data gathered from a study of grandfathers in a rural community in North Carolina, the author looks at how grandfathers experience feelings of powerlessness and instability in their roles as caregivers for their grandchildren. The author argues that special attention, through services and policies, should be afforded to older men who step into the role of caretakers.


“Grandmothers Raising Grandchildren With Disabilities Sources of Support and Family Quality of Life.”

Kresak, Karen E., Peggy A. Gallagher, and Susan J. Kelley. Journal of Early Intervention 36, no. 1 (204): 3-17.

In this article, sources of support and quality of life of 50 grandmother-headed families raising grandchildren with and without disabilities are examined. Comparative analyses revealed significant differences between grandmothers raising grandchildren with and without disabilities in regard to sources of support and family quality of life. Informal support was significantly higher for grandmothers raising grandchildren without disabilities. In addition, grandmothers raising grandchildren without disabilities rated satisfaction with all aspects of family quality of life except parenting as significantly higher than grandmothers raising grandchildren with disabilities. Correlational analyses showed a moderate correlation between sources of support and family quality of life for both groups of grandmothers. While total informal social support was significantly correlated with satisfaction ratings of family quality of life for both groups of grandmothers, total formal support was significantly correlated with satisfaction ratings of family quality of life only for grandmothers raising grandchildren with disabilities. Multiple regression analyses revealed a significant relationship between presence of child disability and satisfaction ratings of family quality of life (Journal of Early Intervention).

“Grandparents raising grandchildren: The influence of a late-life transition on occupational engagement.”

Marken, Dory M., and Jenna B. Howard. Physical & Occupational Therapy In Geriatrics 32, no. 4 (2014): 381-396.

This article focuses on the issue of grandparents who are raising their grandchildren replacing previous participation in social, leisure and physical activities with child-rearing responsibilities. The loss of participation in the aforementioned activities has been linked with decline in physical and mental health. The authors of this article employed a demographic questionnaire to examine activity involvement among grandparents and its effect on mental and physical health. Of the ten grandparents who took part in the study, the authors found that grandfathers retained an appreciably higher level of activity involvement compared to grandmothers and that at least 4 grandmothers cited raising a child as having a negative impact on their physical and emotional wellbeing. Using the results of the study, the authors provide recommendations on how occupational therapists can support grandparents’ re-establishment of leisure, social, and more demanding physical activity to avert functional health decline.


“Grandparents raising grandchildren: investigating factors associated with distress among custodial grandparents.”

Doley, Rebekah, Ryan Bell, Bruce Watt, and Hannah Simpson. Journal of Family Studies 21, no. 2 (2015): 101-119.

This study explores the relationship between the psychological health of grandparent caretakers and the social, emotional and behavioral issues of their grandchildren. The study also assesses the relationship between psychological well-being in grandparents and access to informal social support. Results from a sample of 100 grandparents indicated that those caring for grandchildren with emotional and behavioral issues reported greater levels of anxiety, stress and depression. Although grandparents with greater access to informal social support experienced less depression and anxiety, they did not feel it lessened the impact of raising children with multiple issues. The authors then discuss recommendations for intervention-type services to assist grandfamilies.

“Social support and grandparent caregiver health: One-year longitudinal findings for grandparents raising their grandchildren”

Hayslip, Bert, Heidemarie Blumenthal, and Ashley Garner. The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences 70, no. 5 (2015): 804-812.

This article examines the relationship between social support and overall health of grandparents raising grandchildren. Using results from a 1-year longitudinal study of 86 grandparent participants, the authors found that social support predicted health and study participants cited greater social support also reported greater overall health: including decreases in depressive symptoms and the adverse effects of parental stress.

“Depressive symptoms among grandparents raising grandchildren: The impact of participation in multiple roles”

Baker, Lindsey A., and Merril Silverstein. Journal of Intergenerational Relationships 6, no. 3 (2008): 285-304.

This article utilizes results from the 2000-2002 Health and Retirement Study to examine the wellbeing among different groups of grandparents raising grandchildren. The authors specifically look at the difference in the prevalence of depressive symptoms among grandparents who are raising grandchildren and are also participating in multiple outside roles (work, volunteering, etc.) to those grandparent-caregivers who are not participating in multiple outside roles. Their results indicated that grandparent participation in multiple roles increases mental stressors and the likelihood of depression. However, they also found that the length of time in which grandparents have been caring for grandchildren is an important factor to consider: with grandparents, who recently began caring for their grandchildren, having their wellbeing decline when participating in multiple roles compared to grandparents, who have been raising their grandchildren for longer of periods of time, actually benefiting from participation in multiple roles.

“Grandparents as Parents: Investigating the Health and Well-Being of Trauma-Exposed Families”

Sprang, Ginny; Choi, Moon; Eslinger, Jessica; Whitt-Woosley, Adrienne; and Looff, Rachel.(2014). Center on Trauma and Children Reports. Paper 1.

This paper focuses on the impact that trauma-related stress and emotional difficulties has on grandfamilies and the relationship between grandparent and grandchild. The authors examine data taken from a study conducted on trauma-exposure, stress and emotional wellbeing and whose participants were grandparent caregivers in the state of Kentucky. The results of this study indicated that grandparents with grandchildren who experienced levels of trauma in previous care, experienced higher levels of stress and other emotional and physical health difficulties in raising their grandchildren. Using these results, the authors identify key health service needs for grandfamilies affected by trauma-related issues.

“Impact of kinship care on behavioral well-being for children in out-of-home care”

Rubin, David M., Kevin J. Downes, Amanda LR O’Reilly, Robin Mekonnen, Xianqun Luan, and Russell Localio. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine 162, no. 6 (2008): 550-556.

Children placed into kinship care had fewer behavioral problems 3 years after placement than children who were placed into traditional foster care. Children who moved to kinship care after a significant time in foster care were more likely to have behavioral problems than children in kinship care from the outset.

“Practice recommendations for mental health professionals: Perspectives from grandparents and their adolescent grandchildren”

O’Hora, Kendra A., and Megan L. Dolbin-MacNab.  GrandFamilies: The Contemporary Journal of Research, Practice and Policy 2, no. 1 (2015): 5.

The authors of this article examine the unique needs of grandfamilies who utilize mental health services in their communities in order to better aid professionals in helping grandparents and grandchildren. They discuss the qualitative results of a survey that interviewed 40 grandmothers and their grandchildren on their experiences with mental health services. Using these results, the authors outline key recommendations to improve services for grandfamilies.

“Strengthening the capacity of grandparents in providing care to young children affected by HIV/AIDS”

Nyesigomwe, Lydia. Journal of Intergenerational Relationships 4, no. 1 (2006): 55-63.

This article focuses on the results of a three-year pilot project entitled Grandparents Action Support Project (GAS), implemented by the NGO Action for Children (AFC) in Uganda. The purpose of the project is to strengthen the capacity of grandparents in providing care for HIV/Aids orphans in Uganda as well as the overall health and wellbeing of Ugandan grandfamilies. The author discusses the achievements and impact of the project in its base community as well as some organizational challenges and ideas for future expansion.