School of Behavioral Sciences


Doctor of Education in Community Care and Counseling (EdD)


Lynn Bohecker


Grandparents, Grandfamilies, Grandparents Raising Grandchildren


Counseling | Counselor Education | Education


Objective: Millions of grandparents in the United States provide full-time care to grandchildren. Although their actions are largely altruistic, they do not come without sacrifice. Often these sacrifices are associated with major consequences. Little is known about how grandparents prioritize their sacrifices. An improved understanding of how grandparents prioritize their sacrifices could facilitate better awareness, more specialized care, and improved policies for this population. Method: I used Q methodology to investigate grandparents’ perspectives on the sacrifices that they make to raise their grandchildren. Thirteen participants were recruited using snowball and purposive sampling. To create the Q-set, I used 26 statements related to the sacrifices that grandparents make when raising their grandchildren. I analyzed the data from the Q-sorts using factor analysis. I used data from the written qualitative questionnaires to add richness to the factor interpretation. Results: According to the participating grandparents, two of the most sacrificed items are time and personal care, including sleep. The least sacrificed items are household activities and eating and drinking. The highest agreement amongst all participating grandparents was regarding time. There was a high level of agreement that time is a significant sacrifice when raising grandchildren full-time.