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Arch Psychiatr Nurs. 2000 Apr;14(2):73-80.

African American grandmothers' perceptions of caregiver concerns associated with rearing adolescent grandchildren.

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  • 1University of Central Florida, School of Nursing, Orlando 32816-2210, USA.


In 1996, grandparents were the sole providers of care for 269,000 grandchildren. Research findings indicate that grandmothers are usually the primary caretakers of grandchildren. Previous issues associated with raising grandchildren vary, but usually relate to the grandparents' health, financial concerns, or lack of social support. This qualitative descriptive study was designed to describe African American grandmothers' perceptions about the burdens of raising adolescent grandchildren. Using this approach, the researchers were able to study the richness and diversity of the grandmothers' perceptions. Data were collected from 35 grandmothers through a focus group (n = 7) and during a 4-day intervention research study (n = 28) entitled "Grandmother-Grandchild Health Promotion Program." Numerous concerns were voiced by both groups, but those stated most frequently were associated with the well-being of grandchildren (grandchildren's sexual behavior, potential drug use, and potential risk of encountering violence) and relational conflicts with adult children. Unexpected findings were the absence of stated concerns associated with the grandmothers' financial situation or health. Recommendations for intervention, clinical practice, and research are discussed.

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