Document Type



Grandparents caring for grandchildren has increased globally in the past two decades, but we have a limited understanding of its effects on custodial grandchildren's mental/behavioural health and educational outcomes. This mixed methods systematic review aims to synthesise mental/behavioural health and educational outcomes of custodial grandchildren within custodial grandparent-headed families and with comparison to other types of household structure and further examine factors associated with these outcomes. A systematic review following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines was conducted. We searched ERIC, Family Studies Abstracts, PsycINFO, PubMed, Scopus, Social Work Abstract and SocINDEX in March 2021 and screened 14,515 articles, which resulted in the inclusion of 42 studies, including 33 quantitative, seven qualitative and two mixed methods studies. The quality of included studies was assessed. This review covered 10 countries, yet most studies revealed that grandchildren raised by grandparents had adverse mental/behavioural health and educational outcomes compared to their peers raised by biological parents. This review further identified multi-level factors contributing to custodial grandchildren's adverse outcomes. Methodological limitations and implications for future practice and research were discussed.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

APA Citation

Xu, Y., Wang, Y., McCarthy, L. P., Harrison, T., & Doherty, H. (2022). Mental/Behavioural Health and educational outcomes of grandchildren raised by custodial grandparents: A mixed methods systematic review. Health & Social Care in the Community.

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Social Work Commons