chapter  1
22 Pages

The Role of Negative and Positive Caregiving Appraisals in Key Outcomes for Custodial Grandmothers and Grandchildren

As the number of families in which grandparents are raising their grandchildren continues to grow (Kreider & Ellis, 2011), there has been increased interest in the adjustment of the grandchildren (e.g., Billing, Ehrle, & Kortenkamp, 2002; Dolbin-MacNab & Keiley, 2009; Smith & Palmieri, 2007; Solomon & Marx, 1995). These children often struggle with a variety of internalizing and externalizing problems including depression, anxiety, reactive attachment disorder, aggression, hyperactivity, inattention, and impulsivity (Grant, Gordon, & Cohen, 1997). Evidence further suggests that custodial grandchildren experience these problems at higher rates than normative samples (Smith & Palmieri, 2007). With increased recognition of the difficulties facing custodial grandchildren, attempts have been made to gain insight into factors that influence grandchildren’s well-being. Two sets of factors that may be particularly relevant to the adjustment of custodial grandchildren are grandparents’

parenting behaviors and grandparents’ psychological adjustment (Hayslip, Shore, Henderson, & Lambert, 1998; Sands & Goldberg-Glen, 2000; Smith & Hancock, 2010; Smith, Palmieri, Hancock, & Richardson, 2008; Smith & Richardson, 2008; Young & Dawson, 2003).