Project Title

The Association Between Grandparents as Caregivers and Overdose Mortality in Appalachia vs. Non-Appalachia

Authors' Affiliations

Abby McCurry, Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN. Margaret Melton, Department of Community and Behavioral Health, College of Public Health, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN. Amy Wahlquist, Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, College of Public Health, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN. Kate Beatty, Department of Health Services Management and Policy, College of Public Health, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN. Stephanie Mathis, Department of Community and Behavioral Health, College of Public Health, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN.

Location

Culp Ballroom

Start Date

4-7-2022 9:00 AM

End Date

4-7-2022 12:00 PM

Poster Number

29

Faculty Sponsor’s Department

Health Services Management & Policy

Name of Project's Faculty Sponsor

Kate Beatty

Additional Sponsors

Dr. Stephanie Mathis, Amy Wahlquist

Classification of First Author

Pharmacy Student

Competition Type

Competitive

Type

Poster Presentation

Project's Category

Caregivers

Abstract or Artist's Statement

Substance use is a serious and growing problem in the U.S. The impact of substance use disorders is vast and can affect more than the person with the disorder. Drug overdose deaths and related hospitalizations are positively associated with a rise in foster care case nationwide. When a child is removed from a home, social workers see first if there are biological family members who could provide a suitable home for the child as to make the transition less disruptive for the child. The average age of a kin caregiver was 59 years old in 2018, so this likely means grandparents are stepping in the caregiver role. Appalachia specifically has been hit hard by the opioid epidemic, and its rates of both overdose deaths and foster care cases have greatly increased. However, no research has analyzed the association between rates of grandparents as primary caregivers of children and county-level drug overdose mortality rates in Appalachia specifically and then compared that to the same association for non-Appalachian areas. Thus, this study decided to examine the association between those variables with a national dataset made from county-level data from multiple sources, mainly the CDC National Center for Health Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau American Communities Survey (ACS). A cross-sectional analysis of 5-year estimates for drug overdose mortality on a county-level associated with the ACS data on grandparents acting as primary caregivers of grandchildren under the age of 18 was performed. There were three hypotheses: 1) counties with higher rates of drug overdose mortality will have higher rates of grandparents acting as primary caregivers of children under 18 years old, 2) the rate of grandparents serving as primary guardians of children under 18 years old will be higher in Appalachian counties than in non-Appalachian counties, 3) the correlation between grandparents serving as primary caregivers of children under 18 years old and drug overdose mortality will be stronger in Appalachian counties as opposed to non. For each hypothesis, a bivariate analysis was run independently, and by using multivariate modeling, the association between grandparents as primary caregivers and overdose mortality was evaluated. Running these analyses determined some statistically significant results: as overdose rates increase, rates of grandparent guardians increase; the rate of grandparent caregivers is higher in Appalachian counties than non-Appalachian counties; and there is a stronger correlation between overdose mortality rate increases and grandparents as caregivers increases in Appalachian counties as opposed to non-Appalachian counties. This is useful as there is a lack of research discussing this specific relationship, especially in rural areas such as in Appalachia. Furthermore, these results could help inform policies and programs to support grandparent guardians and help lessen the impacts of parental substance use for children.

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Apr 7th, 9:00 AM Apr 7th, 12:00 PM

The Association Between Grandparents as Caregivers and Overdose Mortality in Appalachia vs. Non-Appalachia

Culp Ballroom

Substance use is a serious and growing problem in the U.S. The impact of substance use disorders is vast and can affect more than the person with the disorder. Drug overdose deaths and related hospitalizations are positively associated with a rise in foster care case nationwide. When a child is removed from a home, social workers see first if there are biological family members who could provide a suitable home for the child as to make the transition less disruptive for the child. The average age of a kin caregiver was 59 years old in 2018, so this likely means grandparents are stepping in the caregiver role. Appalachia specifically has been hit hard by the opioid epidemic, and its rates of both overdose deaths and foster care cases have greatly increased. However, no research has analyzed the association between rates of grandparents as primary caregivers of children and county-level drug overdose mortality rates in Appalachia specifically and then compared that to the same association for non-Appalachian areas. Thus, this study decided to examine the association between those variables with a national dataset made from county-level data from multiple sources, mainly the CDC National Center for Health Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau American Communities Survey (ACS). A cross-sectional analysis of 5-year estimates for drug overdose mortality on a county-level associated with the ACS data on grandparents acting as primary caregivers of grandchildren under the age of 18 was performed. There were three hypotheses: 1) counties with higher rates of drug overdose mortality will have higher rates of grandparents acting as primary caregivers of children under 18 years old, 2) the rate of grandparents serving as primary guardians of children under 18 years old will be higher in Appalachian counties than in non-Appalachian counties, 3) the correlation between grandparents serving as primary caregivers of children under 18 years old and drug overdose mortality will be stronger in Appalachian counties as opposed to non. For each hypothesis, a bivariate analysis was run independently, and by using multivariate modeling, the association between grandparents as primary caregivers and overdose mortality was evaluated. Running these analyses determined some statistically significant results: as overdose rates increase, rates of grandparent guardians increase; the rate of grandparent caregivers is higher in Appalachian counties than non-Appalachian counties; and there is a stronger correlation between overdose mortality rate increases and grandparents as caregivers increases in Appalachian counties as opposed to non-Appalachian counties. This is useful as there is a lack of research discussing this specific relationship, especially in rural areas such as in Appalachia. Furthermore, these results could help inform policies and programs to support grandparent guardians and help lessen the impacts of parental substance use for children.