Factors Associated with Stress Among Grandparents Raising Their Grandchildren


  • Roberta G. Sands,

    Corresponding author
    1. Roberta G. Sands, Ph.D. is an associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Work, Philadelphia, PA. Her interests lie in clinical practice, mental health, and women's issues.
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  • Robin S. Goldberg-Glen

    1. Robin S. Goldberg-Glen, Ph.D. is an associate professor at Widener University, School of Human Service Professions, Center for Social Work Education, Chester, PA. Her interests lie in aging and caregiving.
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  • *Based on a paper presented at the symposium, “Raising their Children's Children: Empirical Observations of Grandparenthood,” 49th Annual Scientific Meeting, Gerontological Society of America, Washington, D.C., November, 1996. This research was supported by a grant funded by the AARP Andrus Foundation, 1995–1996. Phyllis Solomon, Bert Hayslip, and John Poulin provided helpful comments.

**Address correspondence to: Roberta G. Sands, Associate Professor, University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Work, 3701 Locust Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6214.


This cross-sectional study of 129 grandparents raising their grandchildren examined the extent to which social supports are related to the grandparents' stress (psychological anxiety). A hierarchical regression analysis, with variables entered in blocks, revealed that contextual factors, stressors related to caregiving, and lack of supports accounted for 35% of the variance. Younger grandparents, grandchildren with psychological and physical problems, and low family cohesion were associated with stress. Implications for clinical and educational intervention are discussed.