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Project C.O.P.E. Seeks Primary-Caregiving Grandmothers for Kent State Study

Posted Oct. 24, 2011

Project C.O.P.E. (Caring for Others as a Positive Experience) is looking for grandmothers in Northeast Ohio to participate in a research study. The study will compare different ways to support grandmothers raising grandchildren between the ages of four to 12 in the total absence of the child’s birth parents.

“Custodial Grandparents are a really underserved population, says Karie Feldman, project director, School of Lifespan Development and Educational Sciences. “There aren’t a lot of resources for this rapidly growing population, and to have Kent State’s name attached to the study is a really positive thing.”

During the 10-week program, grandmothers will receive a curriculum-based program aimed to support grandparents raising grandchildren. At each session, participants will be provided with a meal and childcare. Grandmothers will also be asked to complete a total of six assessments over a two-year period.  After each assessment, the participant will receive a $35 check to cover any local travel expenses.

Funded through the National Institute for Nursing Research, the study is also being conducted at the University of North Texas, the University of Maryland and the University of California.

“It not only advances our scientific understanding of custodial grandparents but the important theoretical findings that will increase our understanding of how these interventions work across the board,” says Gregory Smith, principal project investigator. “The response from the community is overwhelming.”

Kent grandmother Linda Cremen Bouchonville says she looks forward to leading a Project C.O.P.E. support group. Bouchonville has cared for her grandson since his mother died 13 years ago. When she took him in, he was five years old.

“When my daughter died, we didn’t have these kinds of resources available. Project C.O.P.E. would have helped me immensely at that time,” says Bouchonville. “I’ve gone through challenges in my life and I’d like to help others. I want to let people know that they aren’t alone and that raising a grandchild is a courageous endeavor.”

If you are a grandmother raising a grandchild ages four to 12, or know of someone who is, please call 855-260-2433 or contact Feldman at grandmothers@kent.edu.