Study Shows Many Children Living with Grandparents Suffered Some Form of Earlier Abuse

May 6, 2014


    Many Kentucky children living with their grandparents at some point suffered some form of trauma or abuse.  That finding is contained in a University of Kentucky report from the Center for Trauma and Children. 

It found nearly three quarters of kids living with grandparents had suffered from at least one traumatic experience.  Dr. Ginny Sprang is principal investigator of the study.  "So, these are trauma exposures in the child's lifetime.  Most often these are the reasons that they came into the care of their grandparents, physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse in their families of origin with their biological parents," said Sprang.

Substance abuse, maltreatment, and parental incarceration are the top three reasons children live with a grandparent.  UK Center for Trauma and Children Director Ginny Sprang says the study points to a need for increased availability of specialized counseling services.  "You shouldn't have to drive to Lexington or Louisville to get specialist care.  There's no reason why professionals in these areas can't be trained to do this," added Sprang.

Nearly 300 grandparent caregivers from 71 Kentucky counties were interviewed for the study.