Context matters: Nonresident grandparent contributions to low-income rural families

Loriena A. Yancura, Melissa A. Barnett, Yoshie Sano, Sheila Mammen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Low-income mothers in rural areas lack access to resources and may rely strongly on support from their children's grandparents. However, most current research on grandparent support focuses on coresidential or custodial grandparents. Very few recent studies focus on the types of support provided by nonresident grandparents, who may be a particularly critical source of support for mothers in rural areas. This qualitative study analyzed interview transcripts from 68 low-income rural mothers to characterize the support they received from their children's grandparents. Two main themes emerged: multidimensionality and multivalence of support. In many families, resources were limited across generations. Results highlight the importance and complexity of multidimensional and multidirectional intergenerational relationships. Nonresident grandparent support appeared to play a key role in the financial and emotional functioning of these families, which may be overlooked in current research and practice with low-resource rural families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-276
Number of pages10
JournalChild and Family Social Work
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1 2020


  • child care
  • family support
  • grandparents
  • parenting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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