Generativity among african american grandfathers serving as kinship care providers

Olga Osby, Carrie J. Smith

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemChapter


The population of grandparents who are actively engaged in raising their grandchildren has steadily increased over the last two decades. African Americans are disproportionately represented in this trend toward kinship care and African American women, in particular, have been identified in the literature as a crucial resource for the care of relative children when their parents are absent. Although grandfathers may also be heavily engaged in the care and nurturing of kinship children, and may be developmentally primed to give back to the next generation, as a group, they are often overlooked as a viable resource of care for these children. In addition, as the baby boomer generation ages men are becoming grandfathers earlier, living longer, and have more time to spend quality years with their grandchildren. Increasingly, many of these grandfathers are also becoming second time parents, having to take on the responsibility of rearing their grandchildren. With the large number of African American children in the child welfare system, there is a growing need to explore the role of African American male elders as a neglected resource for the care of their grandchildren. This chapter explores second time parenting among African American men, and the generative benefits of this experience for children and grandfathers. The chapter features a qualitative study of 19 African American grandfathers who relay how they perceive their role in the lives of their grandchildren. As a result of the interviews, five themes emerged that speak to the strengths of the African American family, the stability these men bring to families, and identifies the generative actions and behaviors that these African American grandfathers engaged in while second time parenting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAfrican American Caregivers
Subtitle of host publicationSeasons of Care Practice and Policy Perspectives for Social Workers and Human Service Professionals
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781633219960
ISBN (Print)9781633219670
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014


  • Child welfare
  • Generativity
  • Grandfathers
  • Grandparents
  • Kinship care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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