Being a grandparent is an important and valued role for many older adults, who often have strong views about the type of grandparent they will be and what they will teach their grandchild. When their grandchild has a disability, grandparents may have to significantly adjust their expectations and interactions. This research explores if and how having a grandchild with a disability influences grandparents' sense of identity and enactment of the grandparent role. Using qualitative purposive sampling, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 22 grandparents of children with an intellectual and/or physical disability residing in Brisbane, Australia. A thematic analysis identified three key themes characterising grandparent's views: formation of grandparenting identity, styles of grandparenting, and role enactment. The results highlight the critical role of grandparents when a child has a disability, illustrating that the grandparenting experience and role enactment may be universal with only the context and delivery varying.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.