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CAREGIVING, TAKE TWO:

AN ETHNONURSING OF CAREGIVING ROLE OF


GRANDMOTHERS
Nadia J. Malabi, RN, MAN
N354 Transcultural Nursing
University of the Philippines - Manila

ABSTRACT
This study will describe a group of four Filipino grandmothers caring for
their grandchildren brought about by parents joining the workforce. It
explores the manner in which caring for grandchildren affected the
grandmothers views of grandparenthood and caring. Data for this
ethnography design will be collected through audio-recorded interviews
and supplementary data sources such as participant observation. This
ethnographic inquiry identified the following themes: realizing self-worth,

expressing satisfaction, showing support, experiencing stress (physical


and mental), thinking (being) separated from peers, and reconciling
(parental) style. The study results and its picture of life from the
grandmothers perspectives may
suggest
areas
of
nursing
assessment and interventions in caring for elderly.

INTRODUCTION: What is already known?


Grandparents played an important role in the family life. They are source of
valuable emotional, financial resource for their grandchildren, and or childcare
(Ochiltree, 2006, Van Tilburg, 2015).
Grandparental child care provision is presumably of high importance to parents
because they generally find child care provision from their own parents more
convenient, more beneficial to their child, more trustworthy, and less expensive
than care from other caregivers (Greenblat and Ochiltree, 1993; NICHD, 1996;
Ochiltree, 2006, Fergusson et al., 2008; Geurts and van Tilburg, 2015).
Grandparents are known to be affectionate, reliable and are familiar to the child,
and parents themselves believe that care offered by grandparents is the nearest to
their own ways of caring (Ochiltree, 2006).

INTRODUCTION: What is already known?


Grandparent care is more flexible than formal child care and because it usually costs nothing,
it is especially beneficial to low-income families (ABS, 2006; Gray, Misson and Hayes, 2005;
Ochiltree, 2006).
Due to the increase in life expectancy, the role of grandparents and great grandparents in the
lives of younger generation has greatly increased (Smorti et al., 2012). This idea is often
motivated by greater availability of grandparents due to increased length of life and
decreased fertility (e.g., Bengtson, 2001; Geurts and van Tilburg, 2015).
Some literatures have reported that grandmothers expressed the feeling of being obligated,
pressed, or forced into the primary caregiving role because of reasons such as parents
absence due to incarceration, death, mental illness, substance abuse, and neglect and abuse
of children (Gibson, 2002; Grant, 2000; Haglund, 2000; Janicki, McCallion, Grant-Griffin,and
Kolomer, 2000; Kelley, Whitley, Sipe, and Yorker, 2000; Minkler, Roe, and Price, 1992; Musil,
1998; Pruchno, 1999; Ross and Aday, 2006; Sands, Goldberg-Glen, and Thornton, 2005; Leder
et al., 2007).

OBJECTIVES OF THIS STUDY:


Identify factors that contribute to change in the physical, mental, and social
health of grandmothers who are raising their grandchildren.
Develop interventions that support the health of grandparents.
Explore on caring through grandmaternal caring.

CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK
Grandcaring Study (Goodfellow, 2003)
Goodfellow (2003) proposes a framework that aims to capture the diversity and choice
made by grandparents in providing regular childcare. According to Goodfellow, the degree
of satisfaction grandparents experience in their role as childcare giver is related to the
nature of their choice, that is whether they have the choice of the satisfaction of negotiating
with their adult children (Goh, 2009).
Goodfellow and Laverty (2003) found four styles of caregiver experience.
Avid caregivers whose lives revolve around their grandchildren.
Flexible caregivers who although they are very concerned with family also give some priority to their
personal time.
Selective caregivers who although grandchildren are an important part of their lives do not want to
be defined simply as grandparents.
Hesitant caregivers who did not anticipate caring for grandchildren and who recognize that they need
to balance multiple roles in their lives.

METHODOLOGY
This study capitalized on ethnography as a qualitative approach as ethnographic
studies reflect the phenomenon as it was experienced during a period of time and
under certain conditions (Haglund, 2000). This approach facilitated further
exploration the lives of grandmothers as caregivers to their grandchildren.
This study is designed as a small-scale ethnography with a specific focus (Leininger,
1985; Haglund, 2000). An ethnography uses at least three types of data collection:
participant-observation, in-depth interviewing, and supplementary data sources
(Germain, 1993).

METHODOLOGY
According to Hammersley (1992), as cited by Hogan et al. (2009), there are
general features of the ethnographic research:
Peoples behavior is studied in their normal environment, not under
experimental conditions.
Data is collected from different sources, with observation and relatively
informal conversations the primary ones.
The focus is generally a single setting or group
The analysis involves interpretation of meaning.

SETTING AND SAMPLING


The study took place in a rural, residential area in General Trias, Cavite within the weeks of
October and November of year 2016.
The participating grandmothers were identified through the use of convenience sampling. All
of the grandmothers are age 50 to 65 years old who are currently living with their
grandchildren and their parent(s).
This ethnographic research design was used to examine demographic characteristics,
grandchild caring perspectives, and aging perspectives of grandmothers who were primary
caregivers for at least one grandchild. The study population consisted of grandmother who
were residing in rural residential area in General Trias, Cavite. Grandmothers who were eligible
for the study met the following criteria:
(1) ages 50 to 65 years-old,
(2) presently living with one or more grandchildren under age 18,
(3) have been taking care of any of her grandchildren for at least 1 year regardless of the age or sex of
the child,
4) viewed themselves as being in a permanent grandparenting relationship with the grandchild.

SETTING AND SAMPLING


Grandmothers who do not fit the above-mentioned criteria were not selected as
informants of the study. The following are the identified exclusion criteria: (1) taking
care of other children apart from her grandchildren, (2) not permanently living with
children under her care, (3) caring for children with chronic medical illness or
special needs.

DATA COLLECTION AND DATA ANALYSIS


The researcher asked each grandmother to tell her story of how she came to the
point to assume and/or decide to care for her grandchild/children. The researcher
interviewed each grandmother in her own home two to three times over a period of
1 month to provide opportunity for more details to surface. Interviews ranged in
length from 30 minutes to 1 hour, with an average of 45 minutes, each audiorecorded and transcribed. The grandmothers names were changed in all quotations
to maintain confidentiality.

DATA COLLECTION AND DATA


ANALYSIS
To analyze the resulting narratives, the researcher initially read each
transcript. The researcher identified quotations expressing intense
emotions, as they relate to the process leading to caring. In organizing
these quotations, there should be an ethnographic understanding of the
ways in which family functioning and grandparental caring affect each
other.

THEMES

THEMES

THEMES

THEMES

THEMES

THEMES