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Adjustment and family functioning of grandmothers rearing their grandchildren


The adjustment and family functioning of grandmothers who were rearing one or more of their grandchildren were examined in two studies. One study used the Dyadic Adjustment Scale and the Family Assessment Device. There were no differences between guardian and non-guardian grandmothers on the seven FAD scales, but guardians were higher on the DAS Dyadic Cohesion and lower on Dyadic Consensus. The second study used a 4-hour individual, structured interview to identify personal adjustment difficulties and coping strategies resulting from having to rear a grandchild. Results indicate that guardian grandparent families frequently may provide therapeutic challenges and that they have the potential to provide unique insights into transgenerational family processes.

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Author information

Correspondence to Glenda M. Ehrle MA.

Additional information

Study one is based on the first author's master's thesis submitted to the Graduate School of Texas Woman's University in December, 1986. The second study was supported by a grant to the second author from the Office of Research and Grants, Texas Woman's University. The authors express their gratitude to Dr. Jack Sibley for coining the terms “puervinism” and “puervitic.”

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Ehrle, G.M., Day, H.D. Adjustment and family functioning of grandmothers rearing their grandchildren. Contemp Fam Ther 16, 67–82 (1994). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02197603

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  • Health Psychology
  • Coping Strategy
  • Social Issue
  • Family Functioning
  • Structure Interview