The effectiveness of support groups in increasing social support for kinship caregivers
Kinship caregivers face a variety of stressors including strains on family resources, legal challenges, conflicts with their own child, and loss of personal time. This paper focuses on the particular stress of reduced social support that grandparents and other relatives often experience. Frequently, kinship caregivers report feeling isolated from friends and family, and feeling unsupported at a time when they are likely to need greater social support. An intervention purported to increase the feeling of social support is the kinship support group. Though widely acclaimed as a valuable intervention, there has been limited research on the support group's actual effectiveness in increasing social support. The current study used the Dunst Family Support Scale (Dunst, Trivette, & Hamby, 1994) to measure how social support changed for kinship caregivers who participated in support groups versus kinship caregivers who did not attend the support groups. Findings indicated that caregivers who attended support groups experienced a significantly greater increase in social support than those caregivers who did not attend the support groups. An additional finding was that kinship caregivers attending the support groups were more likely to increase formal social supports from sources such as parent groups, social groups/clubs, church members, family physician, early childhood programs, school or day care, professional helpers and agencies compared to an increase in informal support such as spouse's parents, relatives, spouse's relatives, spouse, friends, spouse’ friends, and children. Conclusions include the recommendation for continued efforts to find or create the best measure of kinship support group effectiveness as well as continuing efforts to understand informal kinship caregivers about whom much less is known than formal caregivers. A practice recommendation is to continue and even increase the use of kinship support groups because of this beginning evidence of their effectiveness as well as the economy and relative ease in conducting them.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Goodman, Catherine Chase & Potts, Marilyn Kay & Pasztor, Eileen Mayers, 2007. "Caregiving grandmothers with vs. without child welfare system involvement: Effects of expressed need, formal services, and informal social support on caregiver burden," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 428-441, April.
- Strozier, Anne & McGrew, LaSandra & Krisman, Kerry & Smith, Aaron, 2005. "Kinship care connection: A school-based intervention for kinship caregivers and the children in their care," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(9), pages 1011-1029, September.
- Testa, Mark F. & Slack, Kristen Shook, 2002. "The gift of kinship foster care," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(1-2), pages 79-108.
- Lindsey A. Baker & Merril Silverstein, 2008. "Preventive Health Behaviors Among Grandmothers Raising Grandchildren," Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Gerontological Society of America, vol. 63(5), pages S304-S311.
- Cuddeback, Gary S., 2004. "Kinship family foster care: a methodological and substantive synthesis of research," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(7), pages 623-639, July.
- Sheets, Janess & Wittenstrom, Kim & Fong, Rowena & James, Joyce & Tecci, Michael & Baumann, Donald J. & Rodriguez, Carolyne, 2009. "Evidence-based practice in family group decision-making for Anglo, African American and Hispanic families," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(11), pages 1187-1191, November.
- Strozier, Anne L. & Krisman, Kerry, 2007. "Capturing caregiver data: An examination of kinship care custodial arrangements," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 226-246, February.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:34:y:2012:i:5:p:876-881. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shamier, Wendy)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.