Grandmothers raising grandchildren: Ethnic and racial differences in well-being among custodial and coparenting families

Catherine Chase Goodman, Merril Silverstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

60 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study compares the well-being of African American, Latina, and White grandmothers raising or helping to raise grandchildren in custodial and coparenting families. Grandmother caregivers (N = 1,051) were recruited through schools and media for 1-hr interviews. Latina grandmothers had higher life satisfaction than African American or White grandmothers when they coparented with a parent in the household. Among African American grandmothers, higher life satisfaction was evident in custodial compared to coparenting arrangements. White grandmothers had higher negative mood and assumed care more frequently in response to serious parental substance-related reasons and less frequently because of the parent's financial need. In contrast, levels of depression were the same regardless of ethnicity. Results suggest that expectations regarding caregiving roles and socioeconomic resources may shape the grandmother's mood and sense of satisfaction with life in response to family circumstances but not affect her depression, an important aspect of mental health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1605-1626
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Family Issues
Volume27
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2006
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Affect
  • African American
  • Caregiving
  • Coparenting
  • Custodial
  • Depression
  • Ethnicity
  • Grandparents
  • Latino
  • Life satisfaction
  • Race
  • White

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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