The Health of Grandmothers Raising Grandchildren: Does the Quality of Family Relationships Matter?

Catherine C. Goodman, P. Philip Tan, Patricia Ernandes, Merril Silverstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study addresses the physical health of caregiving grandmothers in a sample of 1015 grandmothers raising grandchildren. The study focuses on closeness and conflict in key relationships and demographic factors related to grandmothers' self-reported health in skipped-generation and three-generation families. It was found that conflict between grandmother and grandchild was related to poor health in skipped-generation families, whereas conflict between grandmother and parent was related to poor health in three-generation families. Although closeness between grandmother and grandchild was related to better health in skipped generation families, conflict was more salient, overriding this effect. Results suggest that conflict is particularly negative on a daily basis, when contention occurs within the household. This study confirms the importance of psychosocial factors related to self-assessed health and implies that interventions might ease conflict, promote problem solving, and assist distressed family members.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)417-430
Number of pages14
JournalFamilies, Systems and Health
Volume26
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2008
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • closeness
  • conflict
  • grandparent caregiving
  • health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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