Factors affecting resilience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander grandmothers raising their grandchildren

Kilcullen, Meegan, Swinbourne, Anne, and Cadet-James, Yvonne (2012) Factors affecting resilience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander grandmothers raising their grandchildren. In: McCoy, Brain F., Stewart, Paul, and Poroch, Nerelle, (eds.) Urban health: strengthening our voices, culture and partnerships. Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS), Canberrra, ACT, pp. 31-46.

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Grandmothers have reported negative social pressures that have affected their psychological and social functioning in their roles as primary carers. As grandmothers who are raising their grandchildren are in effect addressing and interrupting the intergenerational transfer of trauma and distress, it is critical to support the grannies who take up this important role. This study utilised a positive psychology framework in order to investigate resilience in a sample of urban Aboriginal1 grandmothers who are raising, or have raised, their grandchildren. Data was collected during seven semistructured individual face-to-face interviews. Qualitative analysis was conducted using a grounded theory method in order to reduce data to theoretical categories reflecting areas of strength of the grandmothers. Grandmothers described gaining support and strength from the interaction between psychological and socio-cultural factors. These factors included developing and maintaining social networks, maintaining traditional kinship structure, participating in traditional adoption, participating in employment, spiritual belief, acceptance of life situations, self-reliance, implementing problem-solving skills, and flexibility of responses. This study provides an Aboriginal perspective on positive mental health in the context of raising grandchildren. As grandparents are becoming increasingly involved in the rearing of grandchildren, these results have implications for delivery of culturally sensitive support programs to this community.

Item ID: 24980
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-1-922102-03-4
Date Deposited: 26 Feb 2013 22:44
FoR Codes: 20 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 2002 Cultural Studies > 200201 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Studies @ 30%
17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology @ 40%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111701 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health @ 30%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9203 Indigenous Health > 920302 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health - Health Status and Outcomes @ 30%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920410 Mental Health @ 40%
95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9599 Other Cultural Understanding > 959999 Cultural Understanding not elsewhere classified @ 30%
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