Characteristics of Grandparents Residing with Dependent Grandchildren in West Virginia and Four Comparison States that Partially Overlap Northern Appalachia
Theresa I. Myadze, MSW, LISW-S,

The growing numbers of grandparents raising grandchildren have continued to attract attention among scholars. Studies may obscure the fact that while many grandparents may reside with grandchildren, they are not necessarily the primary caretakers or financial providers. The major purpose of the study is to provide a more comprehensive overview of the segments of the population in West Virginia and other states that overlap Northern Appalachia that are actually responsible for the basic needs of their grandchildren with whom they reside. Age, race, and gender distributions of caregivers by state are reviewed. Findings indicate that grandparent caregivers in West Virginia may be especially vulnerable due to higher poverty rates, despite their greater likelihood of having two-grandparent households. The results highlight the often overlooked roles of younger grandparents and grandfathers. Policy and practice recommendations are presented to better address the needs of grandparent households.

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