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Compatibility with daily life: How do Thai Grandparents maintain harmony at skipped-generation household ?. Patcharee Komjakraphan RN., PhD. Introduction.

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Compatibility with daily life: How do Thai Grandparents maintain harmony at skipped-generation household?

Patcharee Komjakraphan RN., PhD.

  • There was increasing in the number of children who were living with their grandparents with no parents present in the household from 2.7% in 2003 to 3.1

in 2007.

  • This household structure is defined as a “skipped- generation” household
Grandparents raising grandchildren in skipped-generation household are often unprepared for their new role and trend to be stressful.
  • Exertion and stress associated with fulfilling parenting role will affect on grandparent’s health (Grinstead, et. al, 2003
Grandparent raising grandchildren in skipped-generation households are more likely to experience negative changes in health behavior, depression, and self-rated health (Hughes et. al., 2007).
  • Research of older adults revealed that emotional states have been linked with physical and mental health outcomes (Jiu Hu & Gruber, 2008).
Harmony is valued by Asian families as important attributes of happy families and was defined as harmonious coexistence in family life.
  • If there is no harmony, then well being will not result.
  • To explore and explain the harmony of life in which Thai grandparents, who reside with their grandchildren in skipped-generation household, make sense of, or derive understanding from, their role as parenting for their grandchildren.
  • A qualitative research design

-Phenomenological approach

  • Thai grandparents who reside with their grandchildren in the skipped-generation household at least one year prior to the interview.
  • The participants for this study were 17 Thai grandparents.
data collection
Data collection
  • Data collection and analysis were conducted in parallel after the first interview.
  • Ethical approval was obtained from the Ethics Committee at Faculty of Nursing, the Prince of Songkla University, Thailand.
  • The interviews were conducted over a period of six month from June 2011 to November 2011.
data collection1
Data collection
  • One participant was interviewed once or twice.
  • The length of each interview ranged from 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Audio recoding were made of each interview, and transcribed verbatim after each interview and prior to conducting any subsequent interviews.
data analysis
Data analysis
  • The seven steps approach of modified Van Kaam method (Moustakas ,1994)
  • 1. Listing and preliminary grouping,
  • 2. Reduction and elimination,
  • 3. Clustering and the matizing the invariant constituents,
  • 4. Final identification of the invariant constituents and themes by application
  • 5. Construct for each co-researcher an individual textual description,
  • 6. Construct for each co-researcher an individual structural description, and
  • 7. Construct for each research participant a textural-structural description of the meanings and essences of the experience.

Maintaining harmony of life

The five main themes

(1) Perspective of life

(2) Frame of mind

(3) Courage

(4) Motivational factors

(5) Role expectation



of life


Perception toward a new role

Maintaining harmony of life

Frame of mind






maintaining harmony of life
Maintaining harmony of life
  • The grandparent’s positive feeling toward their daily life with their grandchildren.
  • Feelings of happiness
  • Feeling of balance, tolerance and understanding.
  • The participants described these feeling as “compatibility with daily life”
“Having my two grandchildren with me

I don\'t have to worry about their well being. They are safe with me. I\'m thankful every day that I was given the chance to give my grandchildren a better live.” (K12)

“I have nothing to worry about. I can go out anywhere with my grandson. No matter what a big events if they come to ask, I’ll go. He is not a problem at all. (K10)”
  • “ I do what I have to do he knows that he can rely on my time and my presence and my interest and those are my responsibility. You should be glad that you have a house to clean, dishes to clean, grandson to raise” (K5)
“Even though I live my life the way I don’t want to, everything is fine with me. I have no problem with anything. Everything in my life is basically the same as usual and I can live like this. I do the dishes, mob all the houses, and do all the laundry. My grandson, Chai, came to live with me when he was three months old. I spent most of my time catering to them, running them around, entertaining them, it was all about my grandson”. (K8)
perspective of life
Perspective of life
  • Simply accept everything that happened in their life “as it is”

“I feel like no chance to have fun with my friend anymore. May be it’s time for stop hanging out staying home and raising grandkids…to be old…I guess”. (K1)

“I suppose my life can’t get better than this. It is not possible to expect more right? What should I be looking for? …. going to the temple, making a merit…that all”. (K13)

frame of mind
Frame of mind

Positive frame of mind

  • “Don’t look at the rich ….don’t do it. I’m happy with my old bike. .I knew someone who don’t have any money and also badly in debt, but she still borrows some just to buy a new suit…I don’t like it” (K2).
  • “My Life has always been unpredictably, but I survived through it all even the hardest times in my life….. I always think that…..” (K5).
courge and ambition
Courge and ambition
  • “I’ll do it. No matter what I keep doing it. Even if no one working but me, I’ll be working. I never scare or discourage. Unlike most of my kids, they avoid working. I work at rubber farm till 11 o’clock, come back home for lunch just one hour then go to the farm again. I’ve been working like that everyday” (K8).
intrinsic motivation
Intrinsic motivation
  • The participants were motivated to raise their grandchildren in skipped-generation household in many ways. The motivational factors identified were to increase their vitality and zest for life, to make they feel connected to their grandchild, and to provide a second chance to raise their grandchild better.
perceptions toward a new role
Perceptions toward a new role
  • The perceptions toward a new role as parent influenced the participants’ harmony of life.
  • “Taking care of our four year old granddaughter was an unexpected event and can be a real challenge at times with both of us working full time, however we love our granddaughter so much and are going to do the best we can to care and nurture her”. (K4)
“I love these children dearly, but have no desire to be their parent. We sometimes feel overwhelmed with all the responsibilities of children”. (K14)
  • This study captured the lived experience of 15 Thai grandparents raising their grandchildren in skipped-generation household
  • The experience described “what” feeling the grandparents had toward their daily live and “how” harmony of life was developed
  • The grandparents described the harmony of life as “compatibility with daily life”.
  • The grandparents’ perspective of life, positive frame of mind, courage and ambition, intrinsic motivation, and perception toward their role as parents to their grandchildrenfostered harmony of their life
  • These findings help to define some of the complex dynamics that have an impact on the development of partnership care and might challenge nurses practicing in the community.
  • Health care provider should assess and understand the coping strategies of the grandparents and assist them to engage in stress-reducing practices.
Thank you for your attention

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