Parenting Stress of Grandparents and Other Kin as Informal Kinship Caregivers

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Informal kinship caregivers provide the majority of out of home care to children who can no longer safely stay with their biological parent. Yet their parenting challenges are understudied since they are often left out from child welfare and other service systems. This mixed methods study, using a survey and focus groups of grandparent and other kin, examined predictors and sources of parenting stress. Quantitative findings suggested that the kinship family's needs and the caregiver's health and emotional well-being adversely affected parenting stress. Grandparent caregivers experienced an elevated level of parenting stress compared to other kin caregivers. Qualitative findings suggested that financial strains, concerns over children's behavior, navigating service systems and difficult relationships with birth parents contributed to their stress. It appeared that grandparent caregivers faced special challenges due to generational gaps, guilt and concerns over birth parents.



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