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ULM professors present study on custodial grandparents

Published May 29, 2014

Dr. Pamela Higgins Saulsberry, professor of social work, and Dr. Karen Kopera-Frye, Biedenharn Endowed Chair and professor of gerontology at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, presented at the 40th Annual Meeting and Educational Leadership Conference of the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE) in Denver, Colo.


During the conference Saulsberry and Kopera-Frye conducted a poster presentation titled “The Rich and Diverse Meanings of Custodial Grandparenting.”

Research was conducted in Louisiana and Ohio, and data was gathered from a combined 351 participants.

According to Saulsberry and Kopera-Frye, the number of custodial grandparents has increased measurably over the last decade.

The two-fold purpose of this study was to explore the racial socialization and cultural sharing of grandparents in the areas of religion, moral, education, and personal belief to foster pride and self-esteem in their grandchildren. 


According to Kopera-Frye, who is also a fellow of AGHE and Gerontology Society of America, “This conference is well-respected and the presentations are refereed to ensure that those selected represent significant research that enhances gerontological and geriatric education. It was an honor to have our abstract selected and presented at this conference”.

In 1972, the Administration on Aging (AoA) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services established a grant program to fund gerontology training programs in colleges and universities. 

A combination of resources, people, and events led to the birth of AGHE in 1974. In 1998 AGHE moved from an independently incorporated organization to a unit within the Gerontological Society of America (GSA). GSA focuses on research, and AGHE focuses on education and training.

The conference attracts higher education leaders and government officials from across the nation to exchange ideas on the improvement education and leadership in gerontology and geriatrics.