Grandparents' Psychological Well-Being After Loss of Contact With Their Grandchildren

Linda M. Drew, Merril Silverstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

55 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined how loss of contact with grandchildren due to parental separation or divorce, family feud, or a sudden event, such as relocation, affected the emotional well-being of grandparents (N = 442). Using data from the Longitudinal Study of Generations, the depressive symptoms of grandparents were tracked over 15 years. Growth curve analysis was used to compare grandparents who had lost contact with their grandchildren with those who had not and to examine preloss to postloss change in depressive symptoms. Grandparents who lost contact with their grandchildren experienced a steeper increase in depressive symptoms as they aged compared with other grandparents. Depressive symptoms of grandparents who lost contact because of a sudden event increased up to 3 years following the loss but returned to equilibrium thereafter. The authors conclude that grandparents who lost contact with their grandchildren experienced a negative impact on their emotional health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)372-379
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Family Psychology
Volume21
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2007
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • depression
  • grandchildren
  • grandparents
  • intergenerational
  • traumatic event

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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