Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Date of Award

January 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name



Social Work

First Advisor

Cheryl Waites


African American older adults have historically been identified as vital members of the African American family and community (Hill, 1972; Cox, 2002; Waites, 2008). Unfortunately, research has shown an increasing number of older African Americans are being admitted into nursing facilities (Paul, 2004; Feng et al., 2011). Between the years of 1998-2008, it was projected African Americans living in nursing homes increased by 10.8% (Feng et al., 2011).

This study explores the intergenerational relationships of older African American adults with their grandchildren, family, and community through the lens of Intergenerational Family Systems Theory. By viewing this qualitative study through the lens of Intergenerational Family Systems Theory, changes in the older adults’ kinscripts were analyzed to obtain a greater understanding of affects associated with nursing home relocation and the older adults’ relationship with their grandchildren, family, and communities since being admitted. By utilizing a grounded theory approach, this study has found key areas to influence future social work practice and research.