Grandparents with Little or No Contact with Grandchildren-Impact on Grandparents
- *Corresponding Author:
- Margaret Sims
Professor of Early Childhood
University of New England, Australia
Tel: 61-02-6773 3823
Fax: 61-02-6773 5078
E-mail: [email protected]
Received date: February 07, 2014; Accepted date: February 08, 2014; Published date: February 14, 2014
Citation: Sims M, Rofail M (2014) Grandparents with Little or No Contact with Grandchildren-Impact on Grandparents. Aging Sci 2:117. doi: 10.4172/2329-8847.1000117
Copyright: © 2014 Sims M, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
The purpose of this study is, through the voices of grandparents, to share the impact on grandparent wellbeing of having little or no contact with grandchildren. We use a constructivist interpretivist approach to interview grandparents to obtain their narratives. Our grandparents told us stories about their feelings of ambivalence towards their children and the lack of agency they experience. They share the impact of this on their physical and mental health and wellbeing. Grandparents’ voices are missing from the literature in relation to this issue and this study uses current theory relating to grandparent identity and wellbeing to examine the data. Given the difficulties in enacting mandated family counselling, community workers need to be aware of those grandparents whose relationships with grandchildren are at risk and attempt preventative interventions. Increasing numbers of adults are experiencing grand parenting and as their wellbeing is to some extent liked to their ability to perform ‘grand parenting’ successfully, it is important that practitioners understand the support needs of grandparents and prioritise time to prevent grandparent estrangement from their grandchildren. This study is the first to attempt to share the experiences of grandparents experiencing this estrangement in Australia.