Title

Strategies & Challenges of Custodial Grandmothers Raising Grandchildren

Presenter Information

Dory Marken
Doris Pierce

Start Time

7-10-2006 8:45 AM

End Time

7-10-2006 9:50 AM

Abstract

Dramatic growth in the number of children raised in the custody of grandparents has implication for the healthy development of grandchildren and the successful aging of grandparents. Age-related physical, sensory, and social changes can limit a grandmother’s ability to adequately care for her grandchildren on a full-time basis. In such homes, occupational therapists must weight the health, safety and developmental needs of the children against those of the older adult. For example, the older adult’s need to reach medication throughout the day can present a danger to the children, while the children’s need to play with toys can create a fall hazard for the older adult. This qualitative study provides a thorough description of how custodial grandmothers of infants and toddlers manage their occupation roles though environmental, social, temporal, physical and emotional strategies. Data collection included interviews and in-home videotaping of typical mothers and custodial grandmothers raising children under two years of age. Data analysis used a comparative approach to identify emerging categories, and theoretical sampling to maximize group differences and similarities. Present themes include: * Life course changes * Cohort differences in occupational patterns * Objects used to facilitate play and development * Social Network supports * Managing child safety and health * Routines * Physical demands of childcare * Mother/Grandmother relationship with child. The comparative description of strategies employed by custodial grandmothers has application to clinical practice. Occupational therapists can assist this unique population of caregivers by demonstrating modifications of context, tasks and routines. How does the comparative description of mothers and grandmothers elucidate the typical and atypical occupational patterns of childcare?

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Oct 7th, 8:45 AM Oct 7th, 9:50 AM

Strategies & Challenges of Custodial Grandmothers Raising Grandchildren

Dramatic growth in the number of children raised in the custody of grandparents has implication for the healthy development of grandchildren and the successful aging of grandparents. Age-related physical, sensory, and social changes can limit a grandmother’s ability to adequately care for her grandchildren on a full-time basis. In such homes, occupational therapists must weight the health, safety and developmental needs of the children against those of the older adult. For example, the older adult’s need to reach medication throughout the day can present a danger to the children, while the children’s need to play with toys can create a fall hazard for the older adult. This qualitative study provides a thorough description of how custodial grandmothers of infants and toddlers manage their occupation roles though environmental, social, temporal, physical and emotional strategies. Data collection included interviews and in-home videotaping of typical mothers and custodial grandmothers raising children under two years of age. Data analysis used a comparative approach to identify emerging categories, and theoretical sampling to maximize group differences and similarities. Present themes include: * Life course changes * Cohort differences in occupational patterns * Objects used to facilitate play and development * Social Network supports * Managing child safety and health * Routines * Physical demands of childcare * Mother/Grandmother relationship with child. The comparative description of strategies employed by custodial grandmothers has application to clinical practice. Occupational therapists can assist this unique population of caregivers by demonstrating modifications of context, tasks and routines. How does the comparative description of mothers and grandmothers elucidate the typical and atypical occupational patterns of childcare?