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Grandparenting a child with a disability: An emotional rollercoaster. \ud

By Sandra Woodbridge, Laurie Buys and Evonne Miller


Objectives: As our knowledge about the experiences of grandparents when their grandchild has a disability is extremely limited, the purpose of this research was to explore the emotional journey of Australian grandparents. \ud \ud Method: This qualitative research utilised purposive sampling and semi-structured in-depth interviews to explore the experiences of 22 Australian grandparents, whose grandchild had been diagnosed with a disability. \ud \ud Results: Three key themes characterised grandparent’s emotional journey: Adjusting (the transition from anger to acceptance), The ‘Double Grief’ (sadness about what might have been for both their child and grandchild) and Pride in Family (pride in family’s ability to adjust to the challenges of the situation). \ud \ud Conclusion: As the first Australian study to explore the experiences of grandparents when their grandchild has a disability, the research provides important new knowledge about the emotional journey for grandparents. Unlike overseas research, Australian grandparents view themselves as being there to support their own children, rather than ‘holding the family together’. The findings will inform current policy debates about the role of grandparents and highlight the importance of support services that help facilitate grandparent’s role within their family\u

Topics: 170100 PSYCHOLOGY, grandparents, children with disability, emotional experiences
Publisher: Wiley Blackwell
Year: 2009
OAI identifier:

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