Theories of Grandparental Stress

  • Thamilselvi Pandialagappan Malaysian Research Institute on Ageing, Universiti Putra Malaysia
  • Rahimah Ibrahim Faculty of Human Ecology, Universiti Putra Malaysia
Keywords: Grandparental stress, factors, theory


Many grandparents today have the responsibility of caring for their grandchildren. Clearly, grandparenting has become a complex, diversified role within families. As the number of grandparent-headed households continues to increase in society, so do their stressors. Although it is not a new phenomenon, interest in examining grandparental stress is relatively new. The focus of this paper is to provide an overview of theories and factors influencing grandparental stress. The paper briefly reviews theories to explain causes of grandparental stress. Based on the reviewed theories, it can be concluded that grandparental stress is a multifactorial problem that appears to affect grandparent caregivers overall well-being. The stress experienced by custodial grandparents was related to their caregiving situation, the subsequent environmental and socioeconomic status.


Download data is not yet available.

Article Analytics Summary

Author Biographies

Thamilselvi Pandialagappan, Malaysian Research Institute on Ageing, Universiti Putra Malaysia

Malaysian Research Institute on Ageing, Universiti Putra Malaysia

Rahimah Ibrahim, Faculty of Human Ecology, Universiti Putra Malaysia

Faculty of Human Ecology, Universiti Putra Malaysia


Arber S, Ginn J. (1995). Connecting gender and ageing: A sociological approach. Philadelphia: Open University Press.

Bandura, A. (1997). Perceived self-efficacy: Exercise of control through self-belief. Controversial issues in behavior modification (pp. 27-59). Amsterdam: Swets & Zeitlinger.

Boss, P. (2002). Family Stress Management: A Contextual Approach. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. DOI:

Bronfenbrenner, U. (1979). The ecology of human development. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Gecas, V. (1989). The social psychology of self-efficacy. Annual Review of Sociology, 75, p. 291-316. DOI:

Gecas, V., & Burke, P. J. (1995). Self and identity. In K. Cook, G. A. Fine, & J. House (Eds.), Sociological perspectives on social psychology (pp. 41–67).

Goode WJ. (1960). A theory of role strain. American Sociological Review; 25: p. 483–496. DOI:

Hayslip, B., Kaminski, P. L. (2005). Grandparents raising their grandchildren: A review of the literature and suggestions for practice. The Gerontologist, 45: p. 262-269. DOI:

King, V., & Elder, G. H., Jr. (1995). American children view their grandparents: Linked lives across three rural generations. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 57, p. 165-178. DOI:

McCubbin, H., & Patterson, J. (1983). Family transitions: Adaptation to stress. In McCubbin, H., & Figley, C. (Eds.), Stress and the Family Volume I: Coping with Normative Transitions. New York, NY: Brunner/Mazel.

Patterson, J. M. (2002,). Integrating family resilience and family stress theory. Journal of Marriage and Family, 64, p. 349-360. DOI:

Roberto, K. A., Allen, K. R., & Blieszner, R. (2001). Grandfathers’ perceptions and expectations of relationships with their adult grandchildren. Journal of Family Issues, 22, p. 407–426. DOI:

Ross MET, Aday L. (2006). Stress and coping in African American grandparents who are raising their grandchildren. Journal of Family Issues, 27: p.912-932. DOI:

Szinovacz ME, DeViney S, Atkinson MP. (1999). Effects of surrogate parenting on grandparents’ well-being. Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences. 54B:S376–S388. DOI:

Stryker, S., & Burke, P. J. (2000). The past, present, and future of identity theory. Social Psychology Quarterly, 63, p. 284–297. DOI:

Thibaut, J. W., & Kelley, H. H. (1959). The social psychology of groups. New York: Wiley.

How to Cite
Pandialagappan, T., & Ibrahim, R. (2018). Theories of Grandparental Stress. Journal of Business and Social Review in Emerging Economies, 4(1), 101-106.