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.
- traumatic event
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