Evaluating the Parenting of Caregiving Grandparents


grandfamilies, parenting, custodial grandparents, caregiving grandparents

How to Cite

Forman, S. (2021). Evaluating the Parenting of Caregiving Grandparents. CommonHealth, 2(1), 23–28. https://doi.org/10.15367/ch.v2i1.406


Background and Purpose: In Philadelphia, over 15,000 grandparents are primary caregivers for grandchildren.  Children raised by grandparents have increased risk for health and behavior issues.  The SOWN Grandfamily Resource Center (GFRC) provides social services and parenting education for caregiving grandparents.  This project investigates whether the annual Department of Human Services (DHS) Parenting pre- and post-survey measures parenting changes for grandparents participating in the GFRC.  Methods: Selected DHS survey questions were grouped into subscales measuring social support and parenting practices.  Associations between social support and parenting were examined, and average subscale scores and percentage of grandparents demonstrating positive beliefs and practices were compared between 16 matched pre- and post-surveys using paired t-tests and McNemar’s tests.  Results:  McNemar’s tests determined the changes from pre- to post-survey were not statistically significant, with p-values between .625 and 1.  The change in mean score for nurturing behavior was statistically significant, .  Social support had a moderate, statistically significant, positive association with all parenting measures.  Conclusion:  Participants averaged 4.1 years of GFRC participation and demonstrated high levels of initial knowledge and parenting practice, but not a significant change from pre to post.  The positive association between social support and parenting practice is supported by research that a caregiver’s distress negatively impacts parenting.  Social relevance:  The parenting qualities included here can alleviate some of the health and behavior problems experienced by children exposed to trauma as well as reduce the parenting stress experienced by caregiving grandparents.