5071.0: Wednesday, November 15, 2000 - 8:50 AM

Abstract #16056

Grandparenting across the miles

Penny Y. Leake, PhD, RN, Winneshiek County Public Health Nursing Service, 305 Montgomery St. Suite # 3, Decorah, IA 52101, 319-382-4662, leakepen@luther.edu

Headlines today often shout about the problems in our society and the need for social reforms to meet the needs of young people. We hear that children need strong role models and a social support system that enhances self-respect and promotes healthy lifestyles and activities. The family is usually the source of support for young people, but in our mobile society, the family may be limited to mom, dad and siblings.

This study will focus on a segment of the family that is often overlooked or absent in a child’s life -- grandparents who do not live in close proximity to the immediate family. According to the Older Americans Almanac (1994), approximately 25% of all older adults/grandparents live more than one hour from an adult child and have limited contact with their grandchildren. The purpose of this study is to determine if participation in activities completed over long distances can enhance the grandparent-grandchild relationship when frequent visits between the two is not possible.

This study is to be completed in fall 2000, and will involve grandparents and their grandchildren in activities that can be accomplished by telephone, through the postal service, via e-mail and/or Internet or by specially arranged visits. Participants will be given age-appropriate activities to complete during a six month period. Participants will complete surveys pre- and post- involvement in the projects to assist with evaluating effectiveness of the project. Activities will also be evaluated by participants for the fun and effectiveness of involving the child.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this session, the participant will be able to: 1. Identify the primary roles and the positive impact that grandparents have in their family. 2. Identify factors that strengthen the grandparent-grandchild bond. 3. Discuss several activities that can be used to strengthen the grandparent-grandchild bond when frequent visits are not possible. 4. Analyze the response of grandparents and grandchildren to participation in activities which involve long-distance interactions

Keywords: Community-Based Health Promotion, Family Involvement

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA