'My grandchild has a disability': Impact on grandparenting identity, roles and relationships

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Woodbridge, Sandra
Buys, Laurie
Miller, Evonne
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2011
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Abstract

Being a grandparent is an important and valued role for many older adults, who often have strong views about the type ofgrandparent they will be and what they will teach their grandchild. When the grandchild has a disability, grandparents may have to significantly adjust their expectations and interactions. This research explores if and how having a grandchild with a disability infleuences grandparents' sense of identity and enactment of the grandparent role. Using qualitiative purposive sampling, semi structured intereviews were conducted with 22 grandparents of children with an intellectual and/or physical disability residding in Brisbane Australia. A thematic analysis identified three key themes characterising grandparent's views: formation of grandparenting identitiy, styles of grandparenting, and role enactment. The results highlight the critical role of grandparents when a child has a disability, illustrating that the grandparenting experience and role enactment may be universal with only the context and deliviery varying.

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Journal of Aging Studies

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25

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4

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Studies in Human Society not elsewhere classified

Clinical Sciences

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