SAGE Journal Articles

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Journal Article 10.1: Prokos, A. H., & Keene, J. R. (2012). Poverty among grandmother-headed families: The life course and cumulative disadvantage. Research on Aging, 34, 592–621.

Learning Objective: 10.3: Discuss family relationships in middle childhood and the influence of family structure on adjustment.

Abstract: Using multivariate techniques, the authors investigate how age, family type, and race/ethnicity affect grandmother-headed families’ economic resources. The authors examine four grandmother-headed family types that are classified on the basis of two features: parents’ presence and the caregiving relationship of the grandmother and grandchild. Using data from the 2000 census (Public Use Microdata Sample 5%) to predict grandmother-headed families’ official and relative poverty statuses, analyses indicate that age, race/ethnicity, and family configuration are major explanations for poverty differences. The effects of race/ethnicity on official and relative poverty are greater among older cohorts than among the youngest cohorts. Additionally, the effects of age on poverty vary by family type: the lower chances of poverty that are associated with older cohorts are not as great among two-generation families as they are among three-generation grandmother-headed families. The authors interpret these findings using a life-course perspective and cumulative disadvantage theory and discuss the implications for grandmother-headed families’ economic security.

Description: This article extends the textbook’s treatment of nonnuclear family forms by exploring poverty among grandmother-headed families. Poverty is most prevalent among families headed by Black or younger grandmothers, and among families in which grandmothers but not parents are present (i.e., skipped-generation families.)

Journal Article 10.2: Acevedo, V. E., & Hernandez-Wolfe, P. (2017). Community mothers and vicarious resilience: An exploration in a Colombian community. Journal of Humanistic Psychology.

Learning Objective: 10.4: Analyze the role of resilience in promoting adjustment to adversity, including characteristics of children and contexts that promote resilience.

Abstract: This study explores vicarious resilience process in early childhood education. It addresses the question of how low-income community mothers who are involved in child care and education for other low-income working caretakers are affected by the children’s resilience. It focuses on the women’s interpretations of the children and caretaker stories’ experiences and stories, and how they make sense of the impact these experiences and stories have on their lives. Twenty-one semistructured interviews were conducted with community mothers who work in the Hogares Comunitarios de Bienestar Program (Wellness Community Homes), of the Colombian Institute of Family Welfare in Cali, Colombia; their perceptions of the children and caretaker’s overcoming adversity were explored. Data were analyzed through grounded theory and Consensual Qualitative Research methodology to describe the themes that speak about the effects of witnessing how children and caretakers constructively overcame adversity. These themes are discussed to advance the concept of vicarious resilience and how it can contribute to sustaining and empowering educational endeavors, community leadership, and family life in the context of poverty, adversity, and potential trauma.

Description: A humanistic investigation using qualitative research techniques shows how the resilience of individuals may influence the resilience of others and thereby positively affect an entire community.