African-American Grandmothers Comparison Essay by Champ

African-American Grandmothers
This paper compares the historic role of African-American grandmothers and their contemporary role as sole parent for their grandchildren.
# 98959 | 1,675 words | 5 sources | APA | 2007 | US

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This paper explains that, under slavery and during the period afterward, older African-American women played active and respected roles in their communities as based on their African heritage, which venerated its elderly. The author points out that, in light of this history, it is not surprising that, in record numbers, African-American older women today are assuming the role of primary caregivers to their grandchildren due to social and addiction problems of the mothers of these grandchildren. The paper relates that the considerable stress of these women, who are permanently primary caregivers for their grandchildren, has resulted in their having many social, economic, physical and psychological problems.

From the Paper:

"The number of grandmothers raising their grandchildren nearly doubled between 1970 and 2000--from 2.2 million to 4.5 million. During the 1990s, the biggest increase was among families with no parent present, usually because of social problems such as the mother's alcohol or drug abuse. Death from AIDS, long-term incarceration, and mental illness are other reasons. The trend has become a "dominant theme" for social work research, and the term skipped generation caregiver has come into use. Of all the children living with grandparents in the U.S., nearly 44% are African-American, a proportion that is six times greater than in white families."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Gibson, P. A. (2002). African-American grandmothers as caregivers: Answering the call to help their grandchildren. Families in Society, 83 (1), 35-43.
  • Gibson, P. A. (2002a). Caregiving role affects family relationships of African-American grandmothers as new mothers again: A phenomenological perspective. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 28 (3), 341-353.
  • Jimenez, J. (2002). The history of grandmothers in the African-American community. Social Service Review, 76 (4), 523-553.
  • Ruiz, D. S. and Zhu, C. W. (2004). Families maintained by African-American grandmothers: Household composition and childcare experiences. The Western Journal of BlackStudies, 28 (3), 415-432.
  • Whitley, D. M., Kelley, S. J., and Sipe, T. A. (2001). Grandmothers raising grandchildren: Are they at increased risk of health problems? Health and Social Work, 26 (2), 105-125.

Cite this Comparison Essay:

APA Format

African-American Grandmothers (2007, October 26) Retrieved July 06, 2022, from

MLA Format

"African-American Grandmothers" 26 October 2007. Web. 06 July. 2022. <>