Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
At a local middle school, twice as many students were being reared by their grandparents than in each of the other 3 schools in the study district. Most of these students were experiencing academic and social issues; increased understanding of the issue was needed to address these problems. Using a phenomenological approach, this project study explored the lived experiences of grandparents of skipped-generation households and school employees who interact daily with skipped-generation households. Epstein's theory of parental involvement undergirded this study, and semistructured interviews were used to gather data from 15 grandparents and 15 school employees. Interviews were transcribed, open coded, and themes were generated. Findings revealed that grandparents often did not understand the grandchildren's generation, 21st-century parenting skills, or how services from community agencies could make the rearing process easier. Also, school employees often did not understand the challenges faced by skipped-generation households, the importance of grandparent-friendly school environments, and the value of sharing internal information. Based on the findings, the Educators Impacting Skipped-Generation Household seminar was designed to inform school employees of strategies to assist grandparents in addressing their challenges, and create grandparent-friendly school environments. This study should improve the lives, relationships, and communication of members of skipped-generation households and school employees, while increasing the number of successful students and citizens who can break this parenting cycle.