Kelley, S.J;, et al., Behavior problems in children raised by grandmothers: The role of caregiver distress, family resources, and the home environment, Children and Youth Services Review (2011), doi: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2011.06.021
Results of this study underscored the need for interventions that reduce child behavior problems and support the need for strategies to reduce stress in grandparent caregivers.
Kelley, S. J., & Whitley, D. (2003). Psychological distress and physical health problems in grandparents raising grandchildren: Development of an empirically based intervention model. In B. Hayslip & J. H. Patrick (Eds.), Working with custodial grandparents (pp. 127-144). New York: Springer Publishing Company.
A body of literature has emerged in the past decade that addresses the growing phenomenon of grandparents raising grandchildren. Much of what has been published relates to trends and demographics, reasons for becoming custodial grandparents, and the impact of this role on caregivers. This chapter describes findings from an ongoing research and community service project with grandparents raising grandchildren in the Atlanta area. The development of an empirically based, interdisciplinary intervention for grandparents raising grandchildren is described. The purpose of the chapter is to (1) compare the physical and psychological status of African-American grandparents who are raising grandchildren to national norms, (2) determine predictors of psychological distress among African-American grandparents who are raising grandchildren, and (3) describe an intervention to improve the well-being of grandparents raising grandchildren.
Kelley, S., Yorker, B., Whitley, D., & Sipe, T. (2001). A multimodal intervention for grandparents raising grandchildren: Results of an exploratory study. Child Welfare League of America, LXXX (1), 27-50.
This article describes the results of an exploratory study of a multi-modal, home-based intervention designed to reduce psychological stress, improve physical and mental health, and strengthen the social support and resources of grandparents raising grandchildren. The six-month intervention included home visits by registered nurses, social workers, and legal assistants; the services of an attorney; and monthly support group meetings. The intervention resulted in improved mental health scores, decreased psychological stress scores, and increased social support scores. Participants also experienced improvement in the level of public benefits received and in their legal relationships with their grandchildren. Implications of these findings for practice are highlighted.
Whitley, D., Kelley, S., & Sipe, T. (2001). Grandmothers raising grandchildren: Are they at increased risk of health problems? Health & Social Work, 26 (2), 105-114.
Many grandparents faced with the need to raise their grandchildren have health risks that could destabilize any family structure established for the child. This is especially problematic for grandparents of color who have higher health risk factors than their white counterparts. This article describes the physical and mental health status and behaviors of 100 African American grandmothers who are primary caretakers for their grandchildren. The findings suggest the physical functioning of the grandmothers is at a level that could jeopardize the quality of life with their grandchildren. In spite of their diminished physical capacity, the grandmothers reported that their emotional state is equal to or better than the general population. Suggestions for community practice are provided.
Kelley, S., Whitley, D., Sipe, T. & Yorker, B. (2000). Psychological distress in grandmother kinship care providers: The role of resources, social support, and physical health. Child Abuse & Neglect, 24 (3), 311-321.
The purpose of this study was to investigate predictors of psychological distress in grandmother kinship care providers. More specifically, it was hypothesized that social support, family resources, and physical health would predict psychological distress in grandmother’s raising grandchildren. One hundred and two grandmothers raising grandchildren in parent-absent homes completed the Brief Symptom Inventory, Short Health Form-36, Family Resource Scale, Family Support Scale, and a questionnaire requesting background and demographic data. Results indicated that psychological distress was predicted by family resources, participants’ physical health, and to a lesser extent, social support. Grandmothers who reported fewer resources, less social support, and poorer physical health tended to experience higher levels of psychological distress. This study suggests that greater attention be given to interventions aimed to decrease psychological distress and improve the financial resources and physical health of grandmothers raising grandchildren.
Whitley, D., White, K., Kelley, S., & Yorker, B. (1999). Strengths-based case management: The application to grandparents raising grandchildren. Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Human Services. 110-119.
Strengths-based case management is an alternative service modality for work with individuals and families. This method stresses building on the strengths of individuals that can be sued to resolve current problems and issues, countering more traditional approaches that focus almost exclusively on individuals’ deficits or needs. This article expands the literature on the application of the strengths-based model by using a project that provides health and social services to grandparents raising their grandchildren. Based on anecdotal results, the strengths-based model appears to have value in fostering a sense of independence and self-assurance among grandparents, as well as enhancing their level of confidence to nurture and support their grandchildren. Suggested limitations and implications for family practice and future research are noted.
Yorker, B., Kelley, S., Whitley, D., Lewis, A., Magis, J., Bergeron, A., & Napier, C. (1998). Results of a home-based intervention study. Juvenile & Family Court Journal. Spring, 15-25.
The number of grandparents raising grandchildren has increased dramatically during the past decade. A growing body of literature indicates that grandparent caregivers experience increased psychological and physical health problems. The findings of this pilot study suggest that the intervention positively impacted mental health, psychological stress, select family services, and social support in grandparents raising grandchildren.
Kelley, S., Yorker, B., & Whitley, D. (1997). To grandmother’s house we go … and stay: Children raised in intergenerational families. Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 9, 12-20.
Current public policies are inadequate in addressing the issues confronted by intergenerational families. The cost of not supporting these families is enormous given that without grandparent caregivers, many of these children would become wards of the state and experience severe disruption in their primary attachments and socio-economic development. Project Healthy Grandparents was established in 1995 to determine the effectiveness of an interdisciplinary, community-based intervention to improve the social, psychological, physical, and economic well being of grandparent-headed intergenerational families.
Kelley, S. (1993). Caregiver stress in grandparents raising grandchildren. Image: Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 25 (4), 331-338.
The purpose of this descriptive study was to examine caregiver stress in grandparents who are raising grandchildren as well as the antecedents to the child’s placement with the grandparents. The sample was 41 grandparents, aged 40 to 78 years, with a mean of 55 years. Subjects reported increased psychological stress as measured by the Symptom Checklist-90-Revised inventory. Social Isolation and restriction of role, as measured by the Parenting Stress Index, were found to be predictors of increased psychological distress. Child maltreatment, often involving parental substance abuse, was found to be major antecedent the to children being raised by grandparents.