Culture and Coping: Kinship Caregivers’ Experiences with Stress and Strain and the Relationship to Child Well-Being
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Given the diverse ethnic makeup of the 3 million U.S. children who reside with kinship caregivers, it is imperative that human service professionals understand caregiving from a broad cultural perspective. In this survey research study, the caregiving experiences of 656 African American, Asian American, European American, Latino American, and Native American kinship caregivers were compared and contrasted. The caregivers share many of the same overall parenting experiences; however, there were differences in how they experience stress and strain and how this affects their sense of readiness/capacity to parent and their childrearing experiences. Likewise, kinship caregivers’ perceptions of the well-being of the children in their care are influenced by ethnicity, the number of children in their care, and their annual incomes. The findings may suggest the influence of culture on stress and strain as well as cultural variations in perceptions of child well-being. The findings provide a direction for practitioners who are engaged in work with culturally diverse kinship caregivers.
KeywordsCaregiving Child welfare Child well-being Cultural competence Kinship care Stress and strain
This research was supported by grant funding from the State of Nevada Division of Child and Family Services, the Clark County Department of Family Services (via a demonstration grant from the U.S Children’s Bureau Improving Child Welfare Outcomes through Systems of Care), and the New York Community Trust, Silberman Fund Faculty Grant Program. We wish to thank all of the individuals who devoted time to the data collection and preliminary analysis efforts that supported the development of this article, including: Chris Kordus, Constance Brooks, Renee Brown, Nancy Downey, and Nickolas Liebman.
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