Alaska Native Grandparents Rearing Grandchildren: A Rural Community Story

Tammy L. Henderson, Minh Dinh, Kerry Morgan, Jordan Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


We used community-based participatory research with four tiers of governance and grounded theory methods to examine the lives of Alaska Native grandparents rearing grandchildren in a rural community. We explored the reasons Native grandparents reared or are rearing their grandchildren, challenges rearing grandchildren, and the joys of grandparenthood. We used their words to broaden the grandparenting research by focusing solely on Native People living in a rural, arctic climate. Culture, values, and traditions explain the unique reasons grandparents cared for their grandchildren; values and common concerns of all grandparents describe the challenges of grandparenthood; pride and joy, the value of love, and traditional ways of living made clear the joys of Alaska Native grandparents rearing their grandchildren. After the discussion, we offer considerations for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)547-572
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Family Issues
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Alaska Native People
  • challenges rearing grandchildren
  • cultures
  • grandparents rearing grandchildren
  • joys of grandparenthood
  • traditional ways of living
  • traditions
  • values


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