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Handbook of Social Work in Health and Aging$
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Barbara Berkman and Sarah D'Ambruoso

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195173727

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195173727.001.0001

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Grandparents Raising Grandchildren: Who Are They?

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren: Who Are They?

(p.355) 29 Grandparents Raising Grandchildren: Who Are They?
Handbook of Social Work in Health and Aging

Nancy P. Kropf

Eunkyung Yoon

Oxford University Press

This chapter addresses the phenomenon of grandparent caregiving. Fully 2.4 million grandparents in the United States have primary responsibility for taking care of their grandchildren, and 6 million children in the United States live in grandparent-headed households. This rate has doubled over the past 30 years. Grandparent caregivers have elevated rates of physical and mental health problems as compared with their age peers, and there is evidence that these difficulties get worse after the entry into the caregiving role. Grandparent caregivers also experience elevated rates of financial and legal difficulties. The circumstances leading to grandparent caregiving derive from challenges experienced by the adult children of the grandparents; death, drug abuse, incarceration, and HIV/AIDS are among the most prominent. The chapter also includes suggestions for social work interventions and policy considerations relevant to grandparent caregiving.

Keywords:   aging, elderly, grandparents, caregivers, caregiving, social work practice

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