VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.
The Lived Experiences of Mexican American Adolescent Grandchildren Raised by Their Grandparents: A Phenomenological Study
James F. Whittenberg
Although insights into the experiences of grandparents raising grandchildren are emerging, there is little research on the experiences of Mexican American adolescents raised by their grandparents (Goodman & Rao, 2007). Grandparents raising grandchildren is becoming common in the United States. Specifically, U.S. Census data indicated that 6.4 million (16%) children lived with their grandparents, 3.4 million (53%) of these without the presence of either parent (U.S. Census Bureau, 2010). Over 1.5 million (23%) of these grandparents were Mexican Americans, which is a 70% increase since 2000 (Goodman & Rao, 2007). These families were also twice as likely (50%) to live below the poverty level, and at the greatest risk (43%) of not being covered by health insurance. In addition, over 52% of these households resided in or near metropolitan areas, and were low-income families (U.S. Census Bureau, 2010). Due to the importance of professional school counselors needing to address the concerns of these grandchildren in school (Newsome & Kelly, 2004), it is vital to consider the lived experiences of Mexican American grandchildren raised by their grandparents from the perspective of the grandchild as well as the grandparent (Edwards, 1998).