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J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2006 Mar;61(2):S89-98.

Grandmothers, caregiving, and family functioning.

Author information

1
School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106-4904, USA. cmm4@cwru.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

We used McCubbin's Resiliency Model of Family Stress, Adjustment and Adaptation ( McCubbin, Thompson, & McCubbin, 2001) to examine how demographic factors, family stress, grandmother resourcefulness, support, and role reward affect perceptions of family functioning for grandmothers raising grandchildren, grandmothers living in multigenerational households, and grandmothers not caregiving for grandchildren.

METHODS:

A sample of 486 grandmothers completed a mailed questionnaire. We used structural equation modeling to (a) test the effects of demographic factors (i.e., grandmother's age, race, marital status, and employment), family stressful life events and strain, grandmother's resourcefulness, subjective and instrumental support, and role reward on perceptions of family functioning for each grandmother group; (b) evaluate differences in the measurement and structural models between the grandmother groups using multisample analysis; and (c) test the model on the full sample, coding for caregiver status.

RESULTS:

The models did not differ significantly by grandmother group; therefore we assessed the composite model using a multisample analysis. We found general support for the resiliency model and equivalence of the models across grandmother groups. Less support, resourcefulness, and reward, and more intrafamily strain and stressful family life events contributed to perceptions of worse family functioning.

DISCUSSION:

Findings demonstrate the importance of the quality of family functioning for grandmothers in all types of families.

PMID:
16497965
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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