The health-related quality of life of custodial grandparents


Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) was explored in a sample of 119 custodial grandparents. A latent profile analysis identified three groups of grandparents along a continuum of good to poor HRQOL, with most custodial grandparents reporting Short Form-12 Health Survey (version 2) scores significantly below U.S. population means. Grandparent and grandchild characteristics that predicted grandparent HRQOL were identified. Grandchild health problems, number of grandchildren in custody, and grandparent education contributed to a moderate reduction in HRQOL. A large reduction in HRQOL was predicted by depression. Differences in depression were reported between groups, with grandparents with poor HRQOL also reporting clinically significant depression, grandparents with fair HRQOL reporting marginally clinically significant depression, and grandparents with good HRQOL reporting no depression. In a qualitative analysis, grandparent conceptualization of what they need to do to maintain and improve their health was explored for each group. Findings from the quantitative analysis indicate variation in grandparent health and mental health status and suggest that services should be tailored to address grandparent needs. The qualitative analysis highlights the importance of religion and spirituality to grandparents, the economic concerns of grandparents, and the need for transdisciplinary services. © 2010 National Association of Social Workers.

Publication Title

Health and Social Work