Impact of caring for grandchildren on the health of grandparents in Taiwan

Li-Jung Elizabeth Ku, Sally C. Stearns, Courtney H. Van Houtven, Shoou Yih D. Lee, Peggye Dilworth-Anderson, Thomas R. Konrad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

49 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives. To understand how caring for grandchildren affects the physical and mental health of grandparents in Taiwan. Method. Grandparents aged 50 and older from 4 waves of the Taiwan Longitudinal Study on Aging (1993-2003, n = 3,711) were divided into 7 categories based on living arrangement and caregiving history. Generalized estimation equations controlling for sociodemographic characteristics and disease status were used to estimate the relationship between caregiving and 4 outcomes: self-rated physical health, mobility limitation, life satisfaction, and depressive symptoms. Results. Compared with noncaregivers, long-term multigenerational caregivers were more likely to report better selfrated health, higher life satisfaction, and fewer depressive symptoms. We found some evidence of reduced mobility limitations for both skipped-generation and nonresidential caregivers relative to noncaregivers. The associations in selfrated health and depressive symptoms were more pronounced in long-term caregivers than among those who recently started caregiving. Discussion. Improvements in self-rated health and mobility associated with caregiving support our hypothesis that caring for grandchildren can be beneficial for grandparents in Taiwan, especially for long-term multigenerational caregivers. Comparing Taiwanese grandparents across different types of caregiving shows that the associations of grandparent caregiving with health vary by living arrangement and duration. However, these findings may not be causal because caregiving and health outcomes were observed simultaneously in our data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1009-1021
Number of pages13
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Volume68
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Jan 1

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grandchild
caregiving
Taiwan
Caregivers
Health
caregiver
health
Mobility Limitation
Depression
life situation
Longitudinal Studies
Grandparents
Mental Health
History
longitudinal study
mental health
Disease
history
evidence

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

Cite this

Ku, Li-Jung Elizabeth ; Stearns, Sally C. ; Van Houtven, Courtney H. ; Lee, Shoou Yih D. ; Dilworth-Anderson, Peggye ; Konrad, Thomas R. / Impact of caring for grandchildren on the health of grandparents in Taiwan. In: Journals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences. 2013 ; Vol. 68, No. 6. pp. 1009-1021.
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Impact of caring for grandchildren on the health of grandparents in Taiwan. / Ku, Li-Jung Elizabeth; Stearns, Sally C.; Van Houtven, Courtney H.; Lee, Shoou Yih D.; Dilworth-Anderson, Peggye; Konrad, Thomas R.

In: Journals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, Vol. 68, No. 6, 01.01.2013, p. 1009-1021.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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