Off-campus South Dakota State University users: To download campus access theses, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your South Dakota State University ID and password.

Non-South Dakota State University users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this thesis through interlibrary loan.

Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Graduate Nursing

First Advisor

Marylou Mylant


grandparents as parents, grandparent social networks, stress


Grandparents raising their grandchildren is an increasing phenomena and the stresses and lack of social support are taking their toll on these families. This study sought to determine the relationship between parental stress and social support of grandparent-headed households living in rural South Dakota. A total of38 questionnaires were distributed to grandparents living in five rural counties in South Dakota. Twenty-one questionnaires were returned. The correlation index, using Pearson's Product-Moment Correlation Coefficient (r), identified a significant negative relationship (p = .026. 1-tailed) between parental stress and social support (r = -.43). Individually, four subscales of the Parental Stress Index also showed a significant negative relationship with social support; isolation(p = .001,1-tailed), role restriction (p < .008,1-tailed), relationship with spouse (p= .000, 1-tailed), and health (p= .028, 1-tailed). On the other hand, grandfather's employment status demonstrated a significant positive relationship (Z= .04,2-tailed)with social support. Advanced practice nurses need to assess for these potential stressors among grandparents raising their grand children. Nurses need to also be a source of referral and support for this population.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Grandparents as parents -- South Dakota
Grandparents -- Social networks -- South Dakota
Stress (Psychology)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


Copyright © 1999 Karen Eads. All rights reserved