Grandmothers raising grandchildren: Family structure and well-being in culturally diverse families

Catherine Goodman, Merril Silverstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

212 Scopus citations


Purpose: This study addressed well-being of grandmothers raising grandchildren in coparenting and custodial households in a sample of African American, Latino, and White grandmothers. Design and Methods: A sample of 1,058 grandmothers was recruited through the schools and media. Grandmothers raising or helping to raise school-aged grandchildren in Los Angeles were interviewed, and analyses were conducted within ethnic groups. Results: African American grandmothers experienced equal well-being in coparenting and custodial families; however, if the stresses related to the parents' problems were removed by statistical control, they favored the custodial arrangement. Latino grandmothers had greater well-being in coparenting families, reflecting a tradition of intergenerational living. White custodial grandmothers experienced somewhat higher levels of affect (positive and negative) but showed no difference in other types of well-being. Implications: The cultural lens through which grandparenthood is viewed has a marked impact on the adaptation to custodial or coparenting family structures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)676-689
Number of pages14
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • African American
  • Coparenting
  • Custodial
  • Latino
  • White

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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