A profile of grandparents raising grandchildren in the United States

Gerontologist. 1997 Jun;37(3):406-11. doi: 10.1093/geront/37.3.406.


This article examines the prevalence of grandparent caregiving in the U.S. and presents a national profile of grandparent caregivers based on current data from the national Survey of Families and Households. More than one in ten grandparents are found to have cared for a grandchild for at least 6 months, with most of these having engaged in a far longer-term commitment. Although custodial grandparenting cuts across gender, class, and ethnic lines, single women, African Americans, and low income persons are disproportionately represented. Multivariate logistic analysis indicates that three groups--women, recently bereaved parents, and African Americans--have approximately twice the odds of becoming caregiving grandparents. Implications for further research, policy, and practice are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Caregivers*
  • Child
  • Child Rearing*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Family
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Intergenerational Relations*
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Parenting
  • Social Class