Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


Social Work

First Advisor

Dan Larry Watson


A substantial increase in the number of grandparents raising grandchildren occurred over the past three decades and moves across all ethnicities. African American (AA) grandparent caregivers, however, experience the most stress; yet have the fewest resources as compared with other ethnicities. In addition, AA grandchildren are more likely to live with their grandparents than other ethnicities. This study qualitatively explores (1) the stressors and experiences of grandparent caregiving among AA grandparents, (2) the importance of social support, and (3) the impact that grandparent caregiving has on relationships. A criterion sample of 7 AA grandparents (5 grandmothers, 1 great grandmother, and 1 great grandfather) was recruited from a human services agency in South Dallas County, TX. Data were collected through focus group discussions and from previous studies. Themes emerged among the grandparents relating to difficulty with school, lack of energy, and health issues. Due to the high demands of grandparent-headed households, grandmothers were less likely to participate in leisurely activities. Despite the social isolation, half of the grandmothers would prefer to continue raising their grandchildren than to release them to their parents or the child welfare system. Another finding was that all of the grandparent caregivers rely on their church communities for support. These findings suggest the need for more rigorous assessment of stressors and the availability of social support which could lead to the implementation of programs targeting grandparent caregivers in South Dallas County, TX.


Social and Behavioral Sciences | Social Work


Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington

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