Grandparent caregivers: factors contributing to their experience of life satisfaction
Globally, the number of grandparents providing primary, custodial, or co-parenting for biological and legal grandchildren has grown progressively. Often time examination of grandparent caregiving occurs through the lens of burden and deleterious familial, psychological, and medical outcomes. The present cross-sectional research study is a preliminarily exploration of factors that promote grandparent experience of positive life satisfaction. Bivariate research findings supported an association between grandparent caregivers’ experience of positive life satisfaction and reported resources (rs(94) = .51; p =.000), choice to parent (rs(94) = .26; p =.006), and spirituality (rs(94) = .214; p =.019. Because life satisfaction scores were reversed, the outcome indicated higher life satisfaction is associated with higher reported resources, choice to parent, spirituality, and parental stress. Social support (r(94) = .093; p =.375) and parental stress (r(94) = .181; p =.081) did not demonstrate significant relationships. Multiple Regression Analysis (MRA) found reported resources (β = .45) and choice to parent (β = .21) were the strongest predictors of grandparent caregivers’ positive life satisfaction (F(2, 91) = 26.54, p < .001). However, MRA with caregiver satisfaction interaction terms did not contribute significantly to the model (F(2, 91) = 26.54, p < .001). Study findings evidenced grandparent caregivers experienced positive life satisfaction when they engage in spiritual practices; perceive reduced stress, choice in parenting, adequate personal, social, and familial resources to meet life demands. Implications for social work practice, policy, and research are offered that build on grandparent caregivers’ adaptability, capabilities, and strengths rather than deficits.