Hannah Merrick: “Exploring grandparenthood in the context of grandchild disability”

In Environmental Planning, Former students by jvnf65


My PhD project seeks to explore the role of grandparents in the lives of grandchildren with a disability from a multi-generational perspective and to understand the impact of ageing on the grandparent-grandchild relationship. This is a collaborative PhD project with the North East branch of the charity, Contact a Family. Shifts in family relationships and roles, demographics and broader contexts are placing greater emphasis on the importance of grandparents in the care of children with a disability, however the significance of their role is under researched. This project will use an exploratory narrative approach to develop a deeper understanding of the practices, meanings and challenges involved in grandparenting children and young people with a disability. Interviews will be carried out with grandparents, and subsequently we will aim to interview some of the parents and then the grandchildren with a disability. The findings will detail the perspectives of each generation involved in the relationship. The findings will be used to help inform organisations such as Contact a Family who work to support families of children with a disability.

I previously studied undergraduate Psychology and completed a Masters in Psychological Research Methods. I have 7 years of experience working as a Research Assistant collecting data and carrying out quantitative data analysis. This included working on a 4 year longitudinal study investigating the transition from children’s healthcare services to adult services for young people long term complex health needs. Publications from these projects can be found on ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Hannah_Merrick2

My PhD project offers an opportunity to train in qualitative research methods and develop inter-disciplinary research skills.