Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The effect of marital status and caregiving responsibilities on the well-being of grandfathers raising their grandchildren
by Ball, Susan C., Ph.D., University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, 2012, 117; 3511498
Abstract (Summary)

Purpose: Qualitative research indicates a negative effect on health for grandparents who assume responsibility for their grandchildren. However, little quantitative research exists that specifically examines the effect that caregiving has on grandparents' well-being. This study's primary purpose is to examine the effect of marital status and caregiving responsibility on the well-being of grandfathers who are parenting their grandchildren.

Sample: Data from eight hundred thirteen grandfathers 40 through 74 years of age were obtained. Mean age was 64 (SD= 9.827). Respondents were predominantly married (86%), employed at least part-time (63%), with a mean income of $43,317.

Method: This study is a secondary data analysis using the National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States (MIDUS) II, Project One, completed between 2004 and 2006. The researcher examined the data using a two-tailed Analysis of Variance design with married or single and primary or secondary caregiver as independent variables. A well-being score calculated for each participant was used as the dependent variable. Multiple regression was used to measure the effect of various demographic factors on well-being scores.

Findings: Results indicated that there was a statistical significance in the well-being scores of grandfathers who performed primary tasks (bathing, toileting, feeding etc.) and those who performed secondary tasks ( cooking, cleaning, laundry)( p = 0.005325). Additionally, self-rated physical health had a statistically significant negative effect on well-being scores ( p = 0.0012) while education had a marginal effect (p = 0.0540).

Conclusion: Results of this study differ from the results of related small-scale qualitative studies. Using the attributes of well-being measured in MIDUS II, results did not indicate a significant difference in well-being for grandfathers who became caregivers of their grandchildren. However, since the sample of grandfathers who were caregivers specifically of grandchildren was relatively small (78) compared to the overall grandfather population in this study (814), the study was underpowered. However, significant differences in well-being scores were discovered. Quantitative research should be undertaken to further enhance our knowledge of this population in order to create interventions that would assist parenting grandfathers to maintain their own health and care for their grandchildren.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Kennedy, Robert
Commitee: Barone, Claudia P., Bullock, Karen, Green, Angela, Schmidt, Cheryl K.
School: University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Department: Nursing Science
School Location: United States -- Arkansas
Source: DAI-B 73/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Nursing, Public health, Sociology, Individual & family studies
Keywords: Caregiving, Grandfathers, Grandfathers as caregivers, Grandparents, Well-being
Publication Number: 3511498
ISBN: 9781267393333
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