Depressive symptoms among grandparents raising grandchildren: The impact of participation in multiple roles

Lindsey A. Baker, Merril Silverstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations


Using the Health and Retirement Study, this research examines well-being among grandparents raising grandchildren during middle to late life, specifically looking at how other roles in which a grandparent is participating (such as worker, volunteer, parent, or caregiver) may influence depressive symptoms among grandparent caregivers. Results indicate that grandparents who have recently begun raising a grandchild experience lower levels of well-being when compared to grandparents who are not raising a grandchild regardless of the grandparent's level of participation in roles beyond that of grandparent caregiver, while grandparents who have been raising a grandchild for longer periods of time seem to benefit from their participation in multiple roles. However, a higher level of participation in outside roles is associated with a decline in well-being among grandparents who stopped raising a grandchild, suggesting that, for these grandparents, participation in multiple roles acted mainly as a stressor rather than as a resource.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-304
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Intergenerational Relationships
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 8 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Depressive symptoms
  • Grandparents as caregivers
  • Role strain
  • Social integration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Archaeology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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