Challenges Faced when Grandparents Raise Grandchildren

2270 WordsJun 20, 201310 Pages
Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Loni Higgins University of New Mexico Introduction There has been a drastic increase in recent years of grandparents raising their grandchildren. Statistics have shown that between 1970 and 2000, the number of grandchildren being raised in a grandparent-headed household has actually doubled from 2.2 million to 4.4 million (Hayslip & Glover, 2009). Research has also shown that more than half of of these children are under the age of six (Brintnall-Peterson, et. al., 2009). New Mexico ranks sixth in the nation for the number of grandchildren living in grandparent-headed households (Goodman & Rao, 2007). A substantial amount of research has been done in the last decade to explore…show more content…
Physical health seems to be a recurring theme in the studies involving grandparents that are raising their grandchildren. Most of the research found a negative impact on health when assuming responsibility and custody of grandchildren. This presents other difficulties as well. In Goodman and Rao’s (2007) study, they interviewed many grandparents and grandchildren that expressed fear surrounding the grandparent’s mortality. The grandmothers were worried about what would happen to the grandchildren if their health continued to deteriorate. In another study, the grandchildren expressed extreme concern about losing their grandparent (Erbert & Aleman, 2008). Social Challenges Social ramifications of grandparents raising grandchildren can be very difficult for both the grandparent and the grandchild. While non-custodial peers are in the best position to provide needed support to custodial grandparents, grandparents often feel socially isolated as they raise their grandchildren. Hayslip and Glover (2009) conducted a study specifically examining the social challenges of custodial grandparents. The grandparents in this study described a lack of validation by society that resulted when others around them did not acknowledge their sense of
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