Sep 02, 2013

    Grandparent-grandkid bond fights depression

    HERE'S another reason why grandparents and grandchildren should spend more time with one another.

    A new study has found that grandparents and adult grandchildren who feel emotionally close to one another experience fewer symptoms of depression.

    "We found that an emotionally close grandparent-adult grandchild relationship was associated with fewer symptoms of depression for both generations," said Dr Sara Moorman, professor of sociology at Boston College in the United States, as quoted in AFP Relaxnews.

    "The greater emotional support grandparents and adult grandchildren received from one another, the better their psychological health."

    Researchers from the college tracked the mental health of 376 grandparents and 340 grandchildren from 1985 to 2004. The average age of the grandparent in the study was 77 years old and the grandchild, 31 years old, according to AFP Relaxnews.

    Participants were asked questions every few years on how often they helped each other - such as with housework and giving or receiving car rides - and how well they got along.

    The study found that grandparents who offered advice, paid for meals from time to time and felt independent had fewer depressive symptoms.

    "Most of us have been raised to believe that the way to show respect to older family members is to be solicitous and to take care of their every need," AFP Relaxnews said, quoting Dr Moorman.

    "But all people benefit from feeling needed, worthwhile and independent. In other words, let granddad write you a cheque on your birthday, even if he's on Social Security and you've held a real job for years now."