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Pathways to grandparents’ provision of care in skipped-generation households in Thailand

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 March 2017

BERIT INGERSOLL-DAYTON*
Affiliation:
School of Social Work, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.
SUREEPORN PUNPUING
Affiliation:
Institute for Population and Social Research, Mahidol University, Salaya, Nakhon Pathom, Thailand.
KANCHANA TANGCHONLATIP
Affiliation:
Institute for Population and Social Research, Mahidol University, Salaya, Nakhon Pathom, Thailand.
LAURA YAKAS
Affiliation:
School of Social Work, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.
*
Address for correspondence: Berit Ingersoll-Dayton, School of Social Work, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA E-mail: bid@umich.edu

Abstract

In many parts of the world, grandparents live with their grandchildren in ‘skipped-generation households’ in which no parent resides. In Thailand, this living arrangement is more common in rural areas where parents often migrate to find employment. The focus of this article is on how grandparents make the decision to live in skipped-generation households. Our study is based upon open-ended interviews with 48 grandparents who lived in three rural areas of Thailand. Using an interpretative phenomenological approach, the analysis uncovers several factors that contribute to grandparents’ decisions about their living arrangements. These factors include: norms about care-giving and family obligation, inadequate child-care options, the need for financial support, problematic relationships within the family and a desire for companionship. We also identify three different decision-making patterns: grandparents initiating the decision to provide grandchild care, adult children asking grandparents to assume this role and adult children abandoning grandchildren to the grandparents. Based upon these findings, we provide implications for practice that address the conditions of grandparents and their family members.

Type
Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2017 

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