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.
Grandparents as Parents: A Growing Phenomenon
Joan N. Strutton and George R. Leddick
Grandparents often play pivotal roles in the lives of grandchildren, but their roles change drastically when they become the primary caregivers for their grandchildren (Reynolds, Wright, & Beale, 2003). The proliferation of nontraditional family structures indicates a shift in development of the conventional family unit that historically consisted of a father, mother, and their children. Over the last several decades there has been a significant increase in what is known as the custodial grandparent phenomenon (RodriguezSrednicki, 2002). Some 3.7 million grandparents are currently helping to raise 3.9 million children in the United States. Between 1990 and 1998, the number of these families increased by 53%; over 1.3 million children are now being raised solely by their grandparents (Casper & Bryson,1998). Because parental engagement is a significant factor in a child’s success at school ( e.g., Barton, Drake, Perez, St. Louis, & George, 2004), how might school counselors facilitate grandparents’ involvement?