Grandmothers as caregivers: raising children of the crack cocaine epidemic

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Sage, Feb 1, 1993 - Family & Relationships - 240 pages
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Published in cooperation with the Center for Practice Innovations, Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, Case Western Reserve University Recipient of Choice Magazine's 1993 Outstanding Academic Book Award One major consequence of the staggering cocaine epidemic is the increase it has caused in "skipped-generation families"--families in which the middle generation is absent, and grandparents are left to raise their grandchildren. Providing a rich and in-depth look at this phenomenon, Grandmothers as Caregivers focuses on African American women who are raising young grandchildren as a direct consequence of this epidemic. Using a combination of quantitative and qualitative research methods, the authors give voice to the women's stories, and capture the strengths, the courage, the pain, and the insights of these "forgotten caregivers." The book explores multiple dimensions of grandparent caregiving, including the circumstances surrounding the assumption of the new role, the effects of such caregiving on the physical and emotional health of grandparents, the high costs of caregiving from an economic perspective, and the dual standard in government welfare policies that penalize grandparents for being related to the children in their care. The authors also look at grandparent caregiving nationally, describing innovative community interventions and service programs to support grandparent caregivers. A detailed and insightful look at the adverse effects of the cocaine epidemic, Grandmothers as Caregivers will be essential reading for professionals and students of gerontology, social work, family studies, nursing, and sociology. "Enlightened lay persons, as well as professionals and scholars, will benefit from the awareness generated. This is a highly recommended and well-written text with implications for practice and policy further research." --Family & Community Health "This study models thoughtful design, careful scholarship, vivid writing, and cogent recommendations. Spanning traditional fields of social research, women's studies, substance abuse, gerontology, child welfare, and public assistance, the book deserves wide reading. Highly recommended."

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Introduction I
Social and Cultural Contexts of Caregiving
Assuming the Caregiver Role

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About the author (1993)

Meredith Minkler is professor of Health and Social Behavior in the School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, and assistant to the vice chancellor for National and Community Service.

Nina Wallerstein is professor and director of the Masters in Public Health Program at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, Albuquerque, New Mexico.