African American custodial grandmothers perceptions of stress factors that impact their well-being and family relationships
The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine African American custodial grandmothers perceptions of stressors that impact their well-being and family relationships in the Greater Houston, Texas (Harris County) area. The study explored various factors such as age, marital status, finances, circumstances resulting in custodial care, parent-adult child relationship, grandparent-child relationship, number of children in care, age of children, length of time in care, and social support. A total of 10 African American custodial grandmothers were enlisted to participate in this phenomenological study. Participants were recruited through a local Baptist Ministers Conference. After the initial contact to determine if they met the criteria for the study, an appointment was scheduled and a demographic survey was completed by each participant and mailed to researcher. Afterwards a one to one-half hour semi-structured interview was scheduled at a location convenient to the participants. Each face-to-face interview was audio-taped and later transcribed verbatim. Data was coded and examined to establish emerging themes. There were six major themes that emerged from the data. They were 1) the high cost of custodial care, 2) importance of maintaining interpersonal relationships, 3) supportive systems, 4) family preservation, 5) a second chance, 6) I am still the Grandmother.