Grandparenting a child with a disability: An emotional rollercoaster.

Woodbridge, Sandra, Buys, Laurie, & Miller, Evonne (2009) Grandparenting a child with a disability: An emotional rollercoaster. Australasian Journal on Ageing, 28(1), pp. 37-40.

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Objectives: As our knowledge about the experiences of grandparents when their grandchild has a disability is extremely limited, the purpose of this research was to explore the emotional journey of Australian grandparents.

Method: This qualitative research utilised purposive sampling and semi-structured in-depth interviews to explore the experiences of 22 Australian grandparents, whose grandchild had been diagnosed with a disability.

Results: Three key themes characterised grandparent’s emotional journey: Adjusting (the transition from anger to acceptance), The ‘Double Grief’ (sadness about what might have been for both their child and grandchild) and Pride in Family (pride in family’s ability to adjust to the challenges of the situation).

Conclusion: As the first Australian study to explore the experiences of grandparents when their grandchild has a disability, the research provides important new knowledge about the emotional journey for grandparents. Unlike overseas research, Australian grandparents view themselves as being there to support their own children, rather than ‘holding the family together’. The findings will inform current policy debates about the role of grandparents and highlight the importance of support services that help facilitate grandparent’s role within their family

Impact and interest:

3 citations in Scopus
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3 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 27835
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: grandparents, children with disability, emotional experiences
ISSN: 1440-6381
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Past > Schools > School of Design
Copyright Owner: Blackwells Publishing 2009
Deposited On: 09 Oct 2009 01:49
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:56

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