Nubia Torres

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren: Analysis of an Inquiry-Intervention of their Experiences



This Doctoral Thesis on Professional Practices collects thirty-five years of research and intervention work by the author, synthesized into methodological presentations and the Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis of recorded materials of experiences of groups of grandparents being caregivers of grandchildren. Between 2014 and 2015, the author implemented an inquiry intervention called intervening-investigating methodology with three groups of grandparents responsible for caring for grandchildren from different sociocultural conditions. The research-intervention materials were duly registered and preserved. In 2018, the phenomenological and interpretive analysis began, offering reflections on emerging epistemologies and psychological practices.

The thesis establishes the value of the conjectures of the meaning the grandparents give to their experience from the phenomenological interpretive analysis. The analysis is done first from the collected material, offering significant findings to understand the experience. Second, the analysis involves the established conjectures, the contextual factors of each group, the researcher’s experience and different disciplinary conceptions. Complex Thinking offers the opportunity to summon different registers of knowledge in interaction.

This document describes the experiences and interpretation of each process, giving an account of the observation, intuition and involvement as a practitioner and interpreter. The phenomenological interpretive analysis considered conceptual resonances, enhancing the understanding of the grandparents’ experiences. The IPA involved the intersubjective and subjective dimensions and the function of collective creation. In this way, while showing the meaning of being grandparents for each group, the thesis presents methodological proposals progressively enriched with each experience, generating relevant ideas for the participants and approaches to knowledge. It also describes the formal ethical procedures of research while emphasizing the relational dimension and the study results. Therefore, the thesis proposes a novel perspective to understand human phenomena with suggestions of contextually creative and practical approaches.