Sources of Joy or Sorrow? Grandchildren and Depressive Symptoms among Filipino Women

Alan B. Feranil, University of San Carlos
Delia B. Carba, University of San Carlos
Sonny S. Agustin, University of San Carlos
Feinian Chen, University of Maryland

The effect of grandchildren on the depression of grandparents has not been well studied particularly in less developed countries where grandparents often serve as surrogate parents to their grandchildren. Living with grandchildren may have positive or negative effects on grandparenthood. Using data from 1977 women aged 38-71 (of which 80% were grandmothers) from the Cebu Longitudinal Health and Nutrition Survey, we examined whether co-residing with grandchildren is associated with depressive symptoms. Results showed that 52% of the grandmothers co-resided with their grandchildren and a fifth of them had high depressive symptom scores. Regression analysis controlling for other variables revealed that for grandmothers, living in the same household with more grandchildren is associated with higher depressive symptom scores. Although it is the Filipino belief that grandchildren bring comfort and joy to their grandparents, our findings reveal that the number of grandchildren in the household also matter. (NIH R01AG039443 and FIRCA 5R03TW008133).

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Presented in Poster Session 2