Grandparent-grandchildren Bond Prevents Depression

By  , Agency News
Aug 13, 2013
Quick Bites

Strong filial relationships can save you from depression.

  • Reasearchers in a new study have stated that emotional proximity with grandchildren can prevent deppression in elderly defining psychological well being of both.
  • Providing and recieving functional support to their grandchildren can save adult elderly from dejection.
  • Scientists observed sharpest increase in depressive symptoms in grandparents who only recieved functinal support but did not give it.

A new study has found that a close relationship between grandparents and their grandchildren can keep depression at bay in both.

grandfather holding grand-daughter"We found that an emotionally close grandparent-adult grandchild relationship was associated with fewer symptoms of depression for both generations," said Sara M Moorman, an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at Boston College.

An emotional relationship between grandparents and grandchildren can put measurable effect on each other’s psychological well being.

"The greater emotional support grandparents and adult grandchildren received from one another, the better their psychological health," Moorman said.

Tangible support by grandchildren like rides to the store and money to assistance with household chores and advice affected the psychological well being of grandparents, the study stated.

"Grandparents who experienced the sharpest increases in depressive symptoms over time received tangible support, but did not give it," said Moorman, who co-authored the study with Jeffrey E Stokes, a PhD candidate in sociology at Boston College.

The researchers found that grandparents who both gave and receive functional support, experienced fewest symptoms of depression over time.

"Therefore, encouraging more grandparents and adult grandchildren to engage in this type of exchange may be a fruitful way to reduce depression in older adults," said Moorman.


Researchers used data from the Longitudinal Study of Generations, that included seven waves of data collection between 1985 and 2004.

The sample comprised 376 grandparents and 340 grandchildren. The average grandparent was born in 1917 and the average grandchild in 1963, making them 77 years old and 31 years old, respectively, at the midpoint of the study in 1994.

The study was presented at the 108th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association.


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