The maintaining and improving effect of grandchild care provision on elders' mental health: Evidence from longitudinal study in Taiwan

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Abstract

Objective: This study aims to determine the impact of grandchild care provision on elders' mental health by self-comparison and longitudinal study design. Method: Information of 2930 grandparents from the Study of Health and Living Status of the Middle-Aged and Elderly in Taiwan were analysed. Elders' mental health was evaluated by Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale in both 2003 and 2007. Participants were divided into 4 groups based on their changing behaviour of caring for grandchildren from 2003 to 2007. Chi-square test was used to compare changes in elders' individual characteristics and total CESD scores between and within groups. ANOVA was used to compare the means of elders' depressive symptoms between groups while paired-t test was used to compare changes in elders' depression symptoms from 2003 to 2007. Logistic regression was performed to determine the associations between elders' changing behaviour of caring for grandchildren and changes in depressive symptoms. Results: Elders continuously caring for grandchildren or started to take care of grandchildren significantly felt happier and enjoyed life more than before and more than elders who do not provide grandchild care. Logistic regression analyses exploring the impact of grandchild care provision found that elders provided no grandchild care had worst mental health amongst all. Elders stopped providing grandchild care had significantly higher risk of developing depressive symptoms (OR = 1.40) than elders provided no grandchild care at all time. Discussion: By self-comparison, this study illustrates how taking care of grandchildren maintains elders' mental health, especially against them from loneliness and depression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-65
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Gerontology and Geriatrics
Volume64
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2016

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Keywords

  • CESD
  • Grandchild care
  • Longitudinal
  • Mental health
  • Taiwan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Health(social science)
  • Gerontology

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