Rationales for Support That African American Grandmothers Provide to Their Children Who Are Parenting Adolescents

J Sch Nurs. 2015 Dec;31(6):441-9. doi: 10.1177/1059840515572026. Epub 2015 Mar 5.


African American grandmothers are known to be a major source of support for their children who are parenting adolescents, but little is known about why they provide support. The purpose of this study was to describe the kinds of support provided by African American maternal and paternal grandmothers to their parenting adolescents and the reasons for giving support. In all, 10 maternal and 10 paternal grandmothers were recruited from one low-income African American community to participate in this cross-sectional, qualitative, descriptive study. Grandmothers provided support due to love and concern for their adolescent parenting children and their grandchildren. Grandmothers were influenced by their own past experiences and by the adolescent's personality and behavior. School nurses and school health clinic personnel are tactically positioned within the lives of families with parenting adolescents and can help facilitate the provision of support that allows adolescent parents to successfully transition to adulthood and assume adult roles.

Keywords: academic achievement/attendance; parent/family; qualitative research; teen pregnancy/parenting.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Black or African American / psychology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Grandparents / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Mother-Child Relations*
  • Parenting / psychology*
  • Poverty / psychology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy in Adolescence / psychology*
  • Social Support*