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.
Abidin, R. R., Jenkins, C. L., & McGaughey, M. C. (1992). The relationship of early family variables to children's subsequent behavioral adjustment.Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 21, 60–69.
Amato, P. R. (1993). Children's adjustment to divorce: Theories, hypothesis, and empirical support.Journal of Marriage and the Family, 55, 23–38.
Blau, T. H. (1984). An evaluative study of the role of the grandparent in the best interests of the child.The American Journal of Family Therapy, 12, 46–50.
Burr, W. R. (1970). Satisfaction with various aspects of marriage over the life cycle: A random middle class sample.Journal of Marriage and the Family, 32, 29–37.
Burton, L. M. (1992). Black grandparents rearing children of drug-addicted parents: Stressors, outcomes, and social service needs,The Gerontologist, 32, 744–751.
Burton, L. M. & Dilworth-Anderson, P. (1991). The intergenerational family roles of aged black Americans.Marriage and Family Review, 16, 311–330.
Children's Defense Fund (1992).The state of America's children 1992. Washington, D.C.: author.
Creighton, L. L. (1991, December 16). Silent saviors.U.S. News and World Report, pp. 83–89.
Demo, D. H. (1992). Parent-child relations: Assessing recent changes.Journal of Marriage and the Family, 54, 104–117.
Epstein, N. B., Baldwin, L. M., Bishop, D. S. (1983). The McMaster Family Assessment Device.Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 9, 171–180.
Kennedy, J. F., & Keeney, V. T. (1987). Group psychotherapy with grandparents rearing their emotionally disturbed grandchildren.Group, 11, 15–25.
Kivett, V. R. (1991). The grandparent-grandchild connection.Marriage and Family Review, 16, 267–290.
Larsen, D. (1988, May 22). Becoming a parent again.Los Angeles Times, Part VI, pp. 1⊄
Minkler, M., Roe, K. M., & Price, M. (1992). The physical and emotional health of grandmothers raising grandchildren in the crack cocaine epidemic.The Gerontologist, 32, 752–761.
Montemayer, R., & Leigh, G. K. (1982). Parent-absent children: A demographic analysis of children and adolescents living apart from their parents.Family Relations, 31, 567–573.
Neugarten, B. L. (1968).Middle age and aging. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Orthner, D. K. (1974). Leisure activity patterns and marital satisfaction over the marital career.Journal of Marriage and the Family, 36, 588–591.
Papero, D. V. (1990).Bowen family systems theory. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn and Bacon.
Rollins, B. C., & Cannon, K. L. (1974). Marital satisfaction over the family life cycle.Journal of Marriage and the Family, 36, 271–282.
Serverino, S. K., Teusink, J. P., Pender, V. B., & Bernstein, A. E. (1986). Overview: The psychology of grandparenthood.Journal of Geriatric Psychology, 19, 3–17.
Spanier, G. B. (1976). Measuring dyadic adjustment: New scales for assessing the quality of marriage dyads.Journal of Marriage and the Family, 38, 15–26.
Vaillant, C. O., & Vaillant, G. E. (1993). Is the U-curve of marital satisfaction an illusion? A 40-year study of marriage.Journal of Marriage and the Family, 55, 230–239.
Wilson, K. B., & DeShane, M. R. (1982). The legal rights of grandparents: A preliminary discussion.The Gerontologist, 22, 67–71.
Wilson, M. N. (1989). Child development in the context of the black extended family.American Psychologist, 44, 380–385.
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.”
About this article
Cite this article
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
- Health Psychology
- Coping Strategy
- Social Issue
- Family Functioning
- Structure Interview