Custodial grandparents : an analysis of parenting and its impact on health
[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT REQUEST OF AUTHOR.] Grandparents assuming the role of caregiver to their grandchildren continues to increase in the United States. Caring for grandchildren can present challenges and stressors to custodial grandparents as they find themselves adjusting to this unanticipated role. Parenting one’s grandchildren may increase the risk for health problems and psychological distress if one has low parenting self-efficacy. Despite the growing number of custodial grandparents, there has been limited research into the relationship between parenting self-efficacy and psychological well-being. This study was guided by the Parenting Self-Efficacy Theory derived from Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory. The purpose was to examine the relationship between parenting self-efficacy and psychological well-being (anxiety and depression) among custodial grandmothers. Additionally, self-reported general health was examined to determine if it moderated the relationship between parenting self-efficacy and psychological well-being. Custodial grandmothers (N=68) were recruited using several methods to respond to psychometrically sound instruments measuring anxiety, depression, general health and parenting self-efficacy scores. Findings indicated parenting self-efficacy scores were not significantly associated with anxiety scores (r = .029; p = .816) or depression scores (r= -.207; p = .090) among custodial grandmothers. Furthermore, general health did not moderate a relationship between parenting self-efficacy, anxiety (R[superscript 2=] .030; p= .5753) or depression (R[superscript 2=] .051; p= .3376). Based on the original power analysis, the study was underpowered. Therefore, the hypotheses cannot be rejected or accepted. Further research is needed to determine whether prior parenting experiences are actually protective for grandparents having to parent.
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