Term of Award

Fall 2012

Degree Name

Doctor of Public Health in Community Health Behavior and Education (Dr.P.H.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Department

Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health

Committee Chair

Moya Alfonso

Committee Member 1

Alison Scott

Committee Member 2

John S. Luque

Committee Member 3

John S. Luque

Abstract

Grandparents are increasingly raising their grandchildren in the United States of America. Those grandparents who live in rural areas face limited resources to help them raise their grandchildren. This phenomenological study is an investigation of the phenomenon of African American grandparents raising their grandchildren in Southeastern rural Georgia and the resources available to them. It looked at what it will take to start a faith-based or community-based support group for these Africa American grandparents raising their grandchildren in a rural setting. The concept of phenomenology served as the theoretical foundation for the study with social ecological model and social support as supporting concepts. The findings show that African American grandparent caregivers in rural South Georgia face many challenges to their health and wellbeing including: legal hurdles, financial difficulties, their own health problems, their grandchildren's health problems, difficulties with educating their grandchildren, worries about the future of their grandchildren. The resources for health and wellbeing available at multiple ecological levels to the grandparent caregivers are inadequate to mitigate the challenges grandparent caregivers in rural areas face. On the basis of the study appropriate recommendations for interventions are made for grandparent caregivers in rural areas.

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