chapter  2
13 Pages

The Relation Between Caregiving Style, Coping, Benefit Finding, Grandchild Symptoms, and Caregiver Adjustment Among Custodial Grandparents

Indeed, many grandparents claim caregiving brings them feelings of satisfaction, accomplishment, and an increased purpose for living (Henderson & Stevenson, 2003; Jendrek, 1993). In two studies conducted by Burton (1992), the majority of grandparents reported high levels of satisfaction in their roles as custodial caregivers and feelings of deep love and commitment to their grandchildren. Grandparents also report that raising their grandchildren helps them feel young and active and provides them with additional companionship (Kropf & Burnette, 2003; Jendrek, 1993). In addition, caregiving often gives grandparents the opportunity to enjoy a closer relationship with their grandchildren (Fuller-Thomson & Minkler, 2000). That said, it cannot be overlooked that the experience of raising grandchildren also presents hardships. Taking on the role of parent a second time involves making major lifestyle changes. These changes can potentially impact the caregiver’s life by causing financial strain, social isolation, and reducing leisure time (Fuller-Thomson & Minkler, 2000; Hayslip, Shore, Henderson, & Lambert, 1998). In addition, assuming the role of caregiver may lead to changes in quality of life such as declines in mental and physical health (Casper & Bryson, 1998).