Advertisement

Grandfathers pp 201-213 | Cite as

Physical Health of Custodial and Caregiving Grandfathers in North America

  • Julie Hicks PatrickEmail author
  • Danielle K. Nadorff
  • Valerie K. Blake
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Macmillan Studies in Family and Intimate Life book series (PSFL)

Abstract

Across North America, the number of grandchildren living with and being raised by grandparents has doubled in the past few decades. Among custodial grandparents, approximately 25 % have at least one disability and more than half are employed full-time. Like grandmothers, custodial grandfathers experience a variety of positive, neutral, and negative effects related to their caregiving role. Drawing on current national surveys and other empirical studies, we illustrate the broad effects of raising grandchildren on the physical well-being of custodial and caregiving grandfathers in the USA and Canada. Specifically, we examine grandfathers’ self-assessed health and self-reported injuries related to caregiving. We also discuss several factors that may negatively influence the health of grandfathers, including household composition, employment, and social stereotypes.

Keywords

Grandfathers North America Physical health 

References

  1. Achenbaum, W. A. (2011). On becoming a grandfather. Journal of the American Society on Aging, 35(3), 11–15.Google Scholar
  2. Bates, J. S. (2009). Generative grandfathering: A conceptual framework for nurturing grandchildren. Marriage & Family Review, 45, 331–352.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bates, J. S., & Taylor, A. C. (2013). Grandfather involvement: Contact frequency, participation in activities, and commitment. The Journal of Men’s Studies, 21(3), 305–322.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Birditt, K. S., Tighe, L. A., Fingerman, K. L., & Zarit, S. H. (2012). Intergenerational relationship quality across three generations. Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 67(5), 627–638.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bishop, D. I., Meyer, B. C., Schmidt, T. M., & Gray, B. R. (2009). Differential investment behavior between grandparents and grandchildren: The role of paternity uncertainty. Evolutionary Psychology, 7(1), 66–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Brook, J. S., Zhang, C., Balka, E. B., & Brook, D. W. (2012). Pathways to children’s externalizing behavior: A three-generation study. The Journal of Genetic Psychology, 173(2), 175–197.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bullock, K. (2005). Grandfathers and the impact of raising grandchildren. Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare, 32(1), 43–59.Google Scholar
  8. Bullock, K. (2007). Grandfathers raising grandchildren: An exploration of African American kinship networks. Journal of Health & Social Policy, 22(3–4), 181–197.Google Scholar
  9. Chen, F., Mair, C. A., Bao, L., & Yang, Y. C. (2014). Race/ethnic differentials in the health consequences of caring for grandchildren for grandparents. The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 70(5), 1–12.Google Scholar
  10. Cross, S. L., Day, A. G., & Byers, L. G. (2010). American Indian grand families: A qualitative study conducted with grandmothers and grandfathers who provide sole care for their grandchildren. Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology, 25(4), 371–383.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Ellis, R. R., & Simmons, T. (2008). Coresident grandparents and their grandchildren: 2012. Journal of Societal & Social Policy, 7(53).Google Scholar
  12. Ellis, R. R. and Simmons, T. (2014). Coresident Grandparents and Their Grandchildren: 2012, Current Population Reports, pp. 20–576, U.S. Census Bureau, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  13. Fingerman, K. L., Pillemer, K. A., Silverstein, M., & Suitor, J. J. (2012). The baby boomers’ intergenerational relationships. The Gerontologist, 52(2), 199–209.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Fujiwara, T., & Lee, C. K. (2008). The impact of altruistic behaviors for children and grandchildren on major depression among parents and grandparents in the United States: A prospective study. Journal of Affective Disorders, 107(1), 29–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Fuller-Thomson, E. (2005). Grandparents raising grandchildren in Canada: A profile of skipped generation families (SEDAP Research Paper No. 132). Hamilton: McMaster University. http://socserv2.socsci.mcmaster.ca/~sedap/p/sedap132.pdf. Accessed on 30 Apr 2015.
  16. Fuller-Thomson, E., Serbinski, S., & McCormack, L. (2014). The rewards of caring for grandchildren: Black Canadian grandmothers who are custodial parents, co-parents, and extensive babysitters. GrandFamilies: The Contemporary Journal of Research, Practice and Policy, 1(1), 2.Google Scholar
  17. Generations United. (2014). The state of grandfamilies in America: 2014. Generations United Web site. http://www.gu.org/OURWORK/PublicPolicy/GrandfamiliesPolicy.aspx. Accesssed on 30 Apr 2015.
  18. Hawkins, E., & Millard, E. (2008). NA DOONEA CHI: Kinship care in the Yukon (CANGRANDS National Kinship Support Research Report). McArthurs Mills, Ontario, Canada. http://www.cangrands.com/printpages/finalyukonrpt.pdf. Accessed on 30 Apr 2015.
  19. Hayslip, B., Kaminiski, P. L., & Earnheart, K. L. (2006). Gender differences among custodial grandparents. In B. Hayslip & J. Patrick (Eds.), Custodial grandparenting: Individual, cultural, and ethnic diversity (pp. 151–166). New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  20. Hayslip, B., Blumenthal, H., & Garner, A. (2014). Social support and grandparent caregiver health: One-year longitudinal findings for grandparents raising their grandchildren. Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 26(4), 559–582 doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbu165.
  21. Hogerbrugge, M. J., & Silverstein, M. D. (2014). Transitions in relationships with older parents: From middle to later years. Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences. doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbu069.Google Scholar
  22. Hughes, M. E., Waite, L. J., LaPierre, T. A., & Luo, Y. (2007). All in the family: The impact of caring for grandchildren on grandparents’ health. Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 62(2), S108–S119.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Keene, J. R., Prokos, A. H., & Held, B. (2012). Grandfather caregivers: Race and ethnic differences in poverty. Sociological Inquiry, 82(1), 49–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Leopold, T., & Skopek, J. (2014). Gender and the division of labor in older couples: How European grandparents share market work and childcare. Social Forces, 93(1), 63–91.Google Scholar
  25. Marken, D., & Howard, J. (2014). Grandparents raising grandchildren: The influence of a late-life transition on occupational engagement. Physical and Occupational Therapy in Geriatrics, 32(4), 381–397.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Milan, A., Laflamme, N., & Wong, I. (2015). Diversity of grandparents living with their grandchildren. Statistics Canada, 72(12.4), 66–80.Google Scholar
  27. Minkler, M., Fuller-Thomson, E., Miller, D., & Driver, D. (1997) Depression in grandparents raising grandchildren: results of a national longitudinal study. Archives of Family Medicine. 6(5), 445–452.Google Scholar
  28. Minkler, M. and Fuller-Thomson, E. (1999). The health of grandparents raising grandchildren results of a national study. American Journal of Public Health 89(9), 1384–1389.Google Scholar
  29. Okagbue-Reaves, J. (2005). Kinship care: Analysis of the health and well-being of grandfathers raising grandchildren using the grandparent assessment tool and the medical outcomes trust SF-36 TM health survey. Journal of Family Social Work, 9(2), 47–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Patrick, J. H., & Tomczewski, D. K. (2008). Grandparents raising grandchildren benefits and drawbacks? Journal of Intergenerational Relationships, 5(4), 113–116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Patrick et al. (in press). Patrick, J. H, Graf, A. S., Nadorff, D. K., & Hayslip Jr, B. Experiences with grandparents and attitudes toward custodial grandparenting. GrandFamilies: The Contemporary Journal of Research, Practice and Policy, 2(2), 92–109.Google Scholar
  32. Roberto, K. A., Allen, K. R., & Blieszner, R. (2001). Grandfathers’ perceptions and expectations of relationships with their adult grandchildren. Journal of Family Issues, 22(4), 407–426.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Rowe, J. W., & Kahn, R. L. (1997). Successful aging. The Gerontologist, 37, 433–440.Google Scholar
  34. Smith, G. C., & Hancock, G. R. (2010). Custodial grandmother–grandfather dyads: Pathways among marital distress, grandparent dysphoria, parenting practice, and grandchild adjustment. Family Relations, 59(1), 45–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Szinovacz, M. E., & Davey, A. (2006). Effects of retirement and grandchild care on depressive symptoms. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 62(1), 1–20. [PubMed: 16454480].Google Scholar
  36. Strawbridge, W. J., Wallhagen, M. I., Shema, S. J., & Kaplan, G. A. (1997). New burdens or more of the same? Comparing grandparent, spouse, and adult-child caregivers. The Gerontologist, 37(4), 505–510.Google Scholar
  37. Thompson, G. E., Cameron, R. E., & Fuller-Thomson, E. (2013). Walking the red road: The role of First Nations grandparents in promoting cultural well-being. The International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 76(1), 55–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. US Census Bureau. (2003, October). Grandparents living with grandchildren: 2000. http://www.census.gov/prod/2003pubs/c2kbr-31.pdf. Accessed on 29 Apr 2015.
  39. World Health Organisation (WHO). (1948). Preamble to the constitution of the World Health Organization as adopted by the International Health Conference, New York. (1948) http://www.who.int/governance/eb/who_constitution_en.pdf. Accessed July 1 2016.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julie Hicks Patrick
    • 1
    Email author
  • Danielle K. Nadorff
    • 2
  • Valerie K. Blake
    • 1
  1. 1.West Virginia UniversityMorgantownUSA
  2. 2.Mississippi State UniversityStarkvilleUSA

Personalised recommendations