African American Grandmother Caregivers: Relationships Among Information Need, Perceived Burden, Perceived Health, And Service Need And Use
Carr, Gloria F
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Abstract African American (AA) grandmothers who parent their grandchildren may experience burden related to these responsibilities. Little is known about perceived caregiver burden and its influence on AA grandmother health and service needs. The purpose of this descriptive, correlational research study was to investigate relationships among personal characteristics, information need, perceived burden, perceived health, service need, and service use in AA grandmothers who are the primary caregivers for one or more of their biological grandchildren. Recruited through churches and community centers, 93 AA grandmothers, ages 36 to 78, participated in this study. These grandmothers were primary caregivers for 211 grandchildren. The proposed relationships among the variables were analyzed using hierarchical multiple regression, controlling for demographic characteristics. Grandmother age and number of grandchildren were significantly predicted information need. Likewise, information need uniquely predicted perceived burden, service need, and service use. In addition, perceived burden and perceived health did not significantly predict service need and service use. An unexpected finding was the positive relationship between perceived burden and perceived health. While this study has provided useful findings about grandparent caregiver issues, more research is needed to capture the essence of AA grandmother caregivers' experiences, to understand AA the impact of caregiving upon grandmother caregivers' health, burden, and their need and use of information and services.