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J Women Aging. 2003;15(2-3):167-84; discussion 185-7.

Not on their own again: psychological, social, and health characteristics of custodial African American grandmothers.

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  • 1Department of African American and African Studies, 9201 University City Boulevard, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC 28223, USA.


The article presents social and health indicators of depression among custodial African American grandmothers. Using a cross-sectional design, a sample of 99 custodial African American grandmothers caring for one or more grandchildren was included in the analysis. The results indicated that approximately 20% of custodial African American grandmothers were depressed. Depressed grandmothers were more likely to report having all ten chronic physical health conditions listed in the study. One additional chronic condition increased the probability of depression by 68%. Old age, more social support, and caring for older children were associated with low levels of depression. The proliferation of grandchildren being raised by African American grandmothers suggests the need for more research, policy, and programmatic interventions.

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