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01-08-2012 | Original Paper | Uitgave 4/2012

Journal of Child and Family Studies 4/2012

Using Consumer Input to Tailor Evidence-Based Parenting Interventions to the Needs of Grandparents

Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 4/2012
James N. Kirby, Matthew R. Sanders
Belangrijke opmerkingen
An erratum to this article is available at http://​dx.​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s10826-015-0164-0.


Grandparents provide a significant amount of child care to their grandchildren. However, there is limited research investigating whether grandparents would view a parenting program developed specifically for them as useful. Our study adopted a consumer focused perspective to program design and examined the challenges encountered by grandparents in their role as an informal child care provider. Focus groups were conducted with fourteen grandparents (11 females, 3 males) aged 45–76 years (M = 60.14) the majority of whom provided 11–20 h of care per week to their grandchild. A thematic analysis indicated that grandparents have difficulty managing the relationship with the parents and remembering effective parenting strategies. In addition, grandparents also indicated wanting further strategies to cope with the stressors associated with the role, particularly surrounding feelings of frustration and guilt. These results suggest that grandparents could benefit from a parenting program and this paper argues that an existing evidence-based parenting program should be modified. In terms of implications for program design the inclusion of a module centered on improving grandparent–parent communication and partner support may buffer potential conflict and tension that can arise in co-parenting situations.

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