Grandparent's health and functioning after a grandchild's death

J Pediatr Nurs. 2010 Oct;25(5):352-9. doi: 10.1016/j.pedn.2009.02.021. Epub 2009 Apr 8.


Approximately 160,000 grandparents experience the death of a grandchild each year; this represents a permanent, irrevocable loss for the grandparent, resulting in physical and emotional responses. Grandparents who lose a grandchild experience increased alcohol and drug use, thoughts of suicide, and pain for their adult child who is also grieving. Supportive resources available to grieving grandparents, the effects of the grandchild's death on the grandparent-parent relationship, and the influence of race and ethnicity on grandparent grieving are discussed. Despite approximately 40,000 child and infant deaths each year, knowledge about grandparent health and functioning after the death of a grandchild is limited.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Attitude to Death*
  • Child
  • Child Rearing
  • Child, Preschool
  • Death*
  • Family Relations
  • Female
  • Grief*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Intergenerational Relations*
  • Life Change Events
  • Male
  • Mental Health*
  • Parenting / psychology
  • Risk Assessment
  • United States