Rolervaring van grootouers as die primêre versorgers van hulle kleinkinders in Odendaalsrus
Brink, Susanna Hendrina
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The general aim of the study was to investigate how grandparents experience their role as the primary caregivers of their grandchildren in the town of Odendaalsrus. From the literature review the researcher realised that a limited amount of research has been done on Caucasian grandparents as primary caregivers of their grandchildren in the suburban areas of South Africa. The literature however did confirm that the prevalence of the phenomenon of grandparents raising their grandchildren has increased significantly over the past few years. This led to the investigation into how grandparents experience their role as the primary caregivers of their grandchildren. The researcher undertook a qualitative, descriptive phenomenological study. The research was conducted in the rural town of Odendaalsrus. The participants consisted of ten Caucasian grandparents of whom four were male participants and six were female participants. Grandparents who formed part of the research sample were identified based on a set of criteria which was formulated by the researcher. After the participants had been identified, the purpose of the research was explained to them. Informed consent was obtained, where after grandparents shared their experience of their role as the primary caregivers of their grandchildren through an unstructured interview. The interviews were transcribed by the researcher. The transcriptions were reviewed by the researcher, after which themes were identified together with supporting evidence thereof. The results of the study confirmed that, although the phenomenon is increasing the cause thereof are a complex issue. The reasons why grandparents act as primary caregivers of their grandchildren are divergent and include reasons like the death of parents, incompetence of parents due to chronic illness such as HIV/Aids, alcohol and drug abuse, divorce, teen pregnancies or parents who are just unable to look after their own children. The phenomenon of grandparents as primary caregivers of their grandchildren has consequences for both the grandparents and grandchildren. Grandparents pursuing the primary caregiver role experience intense conflict between the traditional role of a grandparent and the role of substitute parent they are fulfilling now. Their role also includes the financial provider role, the mediator role and the disciplinary role. These roles all have an impact on the interpersonal relationships of these grandparents. Recommendations are made to professionals (social workers, therapists and counsellors) to equip them in assisting grandparents in their experience and to provide them with effective support and advice.
- Humanities