Maura Kathleen Cole, Psy.D., is a 2017 graduate of the Psy.D. Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, New England

Dissertation Committee:

  • Martha Straus, PhD, Committee Chair
  • William Slammon, PhD, Committee Member
  • Barbara Belcher-Timme, PsyD, Committee Member


custodial grandchildren, kinship care, grand-families, youth voices, qualitative

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Grandparent-headed families are a growing trend as social policy has moved increasingly toward kinship care for children in out-of-home placements. While much of the current research focuses on the characteristics and potential causal factors in the formation of such families, there has been little qualitative research focusing on the lived experiences of the involved children. This study explores the subjective, meaning-making experiences of six latency-aged grandchildren between the ages of 6 and 11 being raised by their grandparents. This study utilized Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis methodology, and semi-structured interviews, to attain the personal accounts and experiences of these children. The findings are discussed in terms of the perceived benefits and challenges for children being raised by grandparents, and the implications for professionals working with them.


Maura Kathleen Cole

ORCID Scholar ID# 0000-0003-4039-8095