Abstract

This article examines the prevalence of grandparent caregiving in the U.S. and presents a national profile of grandparent caregivers based on current data from the National Survey of Families and Households. More than one in ten grandparents are found to have cared for a grandchild for at least 6 months, with most of these having engaged in a far longer-term commitment. Although custodial grandparenting cuts across gender, class, and ethnic lines, single women, African Americans, and low income persons are disproportionately represented. Multivariate logistic analysis indicates that three groups — women, recently bereaved parents, and African Americans — have approximately twice the odds of becoming caregiving grandparents. Implications for further research, policy, and practice are discussed.

Author notes

1
The authors gratefully acknowledge the Commonwealth Fund for its support of this research. The Commonwealth Fund is a New York Citybased national foundation which undertakes independent research on health and social issues.