Grandparenting & ethnicity research

Michael C. Healy (
Sun, 29 Mar 1998 10:58:02 -0500

Hi there,
My name is Michael Healy, and I am a doctoral student in Temple
University's clinical psych program. I was wondering if anyone had any
thgouhts regarding my dissertation research.
I will be examining the role (construct) of grandparents in
Irish-American and Italian-American families. More specifically, I hope
to examine the ways in which Irish and Italian grandchildren differ in
their construction of the grandparent role. Unfortunately, most of the
research on grandparent-grandchild relationships has been atheoretical,
a trend that my academic advisors at Temple hope to see change in my
My advisor, Jay Efran, introduced me to PCP, and, while Kelly's theory
seems to be primarily a psychology of the individual, it also seems to
allow for intragroup similarity, in the form of similar construct
systems among members. My hunch is that there will be similarities
among members of the aforementioned ethnic groups (and gross differences
between the two) with regard to the construction of the role of
I am hoping to use a Kellian grid measure to assess the
grandchild's construction of the grandparent role, but I am not sure 1)
which of
Kelly's measures would make the most sense, 2) if a grid measure would
even be the most efficient way to collect this information, or 3) if
there are other measures that resonate with PCT that would work better.
I have considered using the Rep Test, although this seems a bit
cumbersome for the task at hand (gaining an understanding of the
subject's grandparental role construct). I have also considered using
Kelly's Situational Resources Test (Res Test), in order to better
understand the ways in which subjects view grandparents as resources.
Any suggestions anyone might have regarding the measurement
issues described above (or regarding the feasibility of the study in
general) would be graetly appreciated.
Thanks in advance,