Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Farmer, Angela S.

Committee Member

Hailey, Leigh Ann

Committee Member

Armstrong, Christopher Clayton

Committee Member

King, Stephanie B.

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

MSU Only Indefinitely

Document Type

Dissertation - Campus Access Only


Elementary, Middle and Secondary Education

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Educational Leadership


The purpose of this study was to analyze and record the characteristics of grandparents who are raising school-aged children as they relate to how the United States is responding to their needs and the needs of their grandchildren. The researcher sought to determine the characteristics of grandparent-headed households with no parent present in regards to housing, nutritional assistance, transportation, employment, age of children in the household, language spoken in the home, and family type, as measured by the 2010 United States Census Bureau. This study was conducted using a quantitative, descriptive research design. The data used for this study were indirect estimates produced by statistical model-based methods using sample survey, decennial census, and administrative data sources compiled by the United States Census Bureau. The Census Bureau collects data about American families for the nation, states and communities, and data related to socioeconomic status, family composition, and language spoken were used to more fully understand characteristics of households where grandparents are raising grandchildren outside of the traditional 1-2 parent American households. Participants included the 92 grandparent-headed households from among the 15,482 participants in the American Community Survey, which included 556 households where grandparents were living with grandchildren. To address the research questions, descriptive statistics were used, including frequencies and percentages. The statistical package SPSS was used to analyze the data. The results of this study revealed that of the grandparents who lived with their grandchildren where there was no parent present, 100% lived in housing units, 75% participated in the yearly food stamp/supplemental nutrition assistance program, 36% had no transportation, 26% were female householders who were unemployed and did not have a husband living in the household, 74% had related children who were 6-17 years old in the household, 51% lived in homes where only English was spoken, and 53% resided in homes where there was a married couple, while 39% of them were in homes with female householders with no husband present.