Grandparenting and psychological well-being: how important is grandparent role centrality?
- 1.6k Downloads
The purpose of the study was to examine the association between the centrality of the grandparent’s role and psychological well-being in the population of European grandparents, aged 50 and older. The study was a secondary analysis of data gathered in the first wave of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe. The sample included grandparents who looked after their grandchildren without the presence of the parents (n = 3,888). Respondents’ scores on the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale were regressed on the frequency of contact with grandchildren, beliefs and attitudes about grandparenting and grandparent-focused role occupancy, and on a composite measure of grandparent role centrality, controlling for age, gender, education, household income, physical status, and country. The findings negated the hypothesized positive association between grandparent role centrality and psychological well-being. Only one of the three indices of interest—grandparent-focused role occupancy—was related to the psychological well-being outcome when background and health variables were taken into account. The study refutes the central claim of role theory according to which salient roles are more beneficial to the psychological well-being of the individual than are other roles, especially in old age. It also questions the theoretical framework of grandparent role meaning that is commonly cited in the literature.
KeywordsGrandparenthood Depression Role centrality Role salience SHARE Psychological well-being
SHARE data collection in wave was primarily funded by the European Commission through the fifth framework program (project QLK6-CT-2001-00360 in the thematic program Quality of Life), the National Institute on Aging (U01 AG09740-13S2, P01 AG005842, P01 AG08291, P30 AG12815, Y1-AG-4553-01, and OGHA 04-064), and other sources.
- Adelmann PK (1994) Multiple roles and psychological well-being in a national sample of older adults. J Gerontol 49:277–285Google Scholar
- Burnette D (1999) Social relationships of Latino grandparent caregivers: a role theory perspective. Gerontologist 39(1):49–58Google Scholar
- Cornoni-Huntley JC, Foley DF, White LR, Suzman R, Berkman LF, Evans DA, Wallace RB (1985) Epidemiology of disability in the oldest old: methodological issues and preliminary findings. Health Soc 63:350–376Google Scholar
- De Luca G, Peracchi F (2005) Survey participation in the first wave of SHARE. In: Börsch-Supan A, Jürges H (eds) The survey of health, ageing and retirement in Europe: methodology. MEA, Mannheim, pp 88–104Google Scholar
- Jendrek MP (1994) Grandparents who parent their children: effects on lifestyle. J Marriage Fam 55(3):609–621Google Scholar
- Klevmarken AN, Swensson B, Hesselius P (2005) The SHARE sampling procedures and calibrated design weights. In: Börsch-Supan A, Jürges H (eds) The survey of health, ageing and retirement in Europe: methodology. MEA, Mannheim, pp 28–69Google Scholar
- Perrone KM, Civiletto CL (2004) The impact of life role salience of life satisfaction. J Employ Counsel 41(3):105–116Google Scholar
- Reid J, Hardy M (1999) Multiple roles and well-being among midlife women: testing roles strain and role enhancement theories. J Gerontol 54(6):329–338Google Scholar
- Reitzes DC, Mutran EJ (2004) Grandparenthood: factors influencing frequency of grandparent–grandchildren contact and grandparent role satisfaction. J Gerontol 59B(1):9–16Google Scholar
- Zeltzer-Zubida A, Spalter T (2008) Subjective well-being among 50+ year old Israelis. Soc Sec 76:269–290Google Scholar