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Project Healthy Grandmothers’ Raising Adolescent Mothers (PHG-RAM)

Research Team

Jen'nea Sumo, Principal Investigator, RUSH University College of Nursing
Monique Reed, Co-Investigator, RUSH University College of Nursing
Wrenetha Julion, Consultant, RUSH University College of Nursing
Susan Kelly, Consultant, Georgia State University College of Nursing

Project Period

6/1/2021 - 5/31/2022

Funding Source

RUSH University College of Nursing Pilot Grant


In the United States, 64% of multigenerational households include a caregiving grandmother, adolescent mother, and grandchild. These multigenerational households are largely headed by African American women. African American caregiving grandmothers experience stress that negatively impacts their mental and physical health. However, little research has been conducted to understand the complex contextual factors (e.g., stress and perceived availability of support) that influence grandmother health. Interventions designed to support these caregiving grandmothers are virtually non-existent. Project Healthy Grandparents (PHG) is an evidence-based program that has been effective in supporting the health of grandmothers who are raising their grandchildren in parent-absent households. The overall objective of the proposed study is to garner the perspectives of caregiving grandmothers in order to inform the adaptation of the PHG program. The refined program, Project Healthy Grandmothers Raising Adolescent Mothers (PHG-RAM), is intended for grandmothers co-residing with their children (adolescent mothers) and grandchildren.

An Advisory Council of 6-8 grandmothers will participate in a series of four focus groups: two to identify factors that affect family functioning, psychological well-being, and health behaviors of grandmothers who are raising adolescent mothers and two to identify and to give feedback on intervention components that may support the health and health behaviors of caregiving grandmothers. Adolescent mothers (n=6-8) and service providers (n=6-8) will participate in one focus group each to contribute their insights on factors that impact grandmothers’ health and health behaviors and identify intervention components that may support grandmothers. During the fourth focus group, the Advisory Council will approve the final version of the PHG-RAM program. The results of this study will reveal culturally and contextually relevant intervention components appropriate for supporting African American caregiving grandmothers and inform a future efficacy trial of PHG-RAM. Intervening with grandmothers may subsequently improve outcomes for adolescent mothers and grandchildren.