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 Raising Grandchildren: Challenges and Opportunities for Mental Health Practitioners
Judith B. Bachay and Barbara M. Buzzi
The authors hypothesized that disparities in both mental and physical health services for African Americans and other minorities increase with age. It appears that grandparents residing in violent, urban communities are confronted with multiple stressors that are often ignored by mainstream sources of quality health care. Based on the authors’ many years of working with minority children and families, it seems that minority grandparents, who are primary caregivers for a skipped generation of grandchildren with absent parents, are more vulnerable to health disparities. These grandparents endure often overwhelming financial, emotional, and physical stress and health issues based on the many demands associated with raising grandchildren attending urban schools that lack the resources needed to meet their educational and affective developmental needs. African American grandparents raising grandchildren in high-risk, urban, minority communities, are likely to encounter significant stressors and difficulties with health care access (Miranda, McGuire, Williams, & Wang, 2008; National Alliance on Mental Illness, n.d.; National Alliance on Mental Illness, 2004). It is important to research the health and stress of grandparent caregivers of young children to inform the development of support and intervention services for this population.