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Grandparents: A Source of Support for Parents of Disabled Children

Émilie Presutto, Georgette Goupil, Bernadette Rogé

Parents of children with a disability face many stressful factors, and have difficulty meeting their personal and professional obligations. This paper is a literature review of studies from 1985 to 2009 about grandparents’ support of such parents. Several factors that can influence the quality of this support are highlighted; grandparents’ ages and health conditions, geographical proximity, communication, closeness, intergenerational relationships, behaviour and involvement can all play a major role in the quality of help. Closeness seems to be the most important factor for the quality of the support and the level of involvement. This review underlines the importance of further study into how we might, in turn, assist grandparents in their supportive role in the family’s adjustment process.