The longitudinal effects of grandchild care on depressive symptoms and physical health of grandmothers in South Korea: a latent growth approach

Soondool Chung, Aely Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: This study examined longitudinal effects of grandmothers’ patterns in caring for their grandchildren, and observed the influence of these patterns on grandmothers’ depressive symptoms and self-rated health status, using latent growth curve models. Method: Four waves of the large-scale Korean Longitudinal Study of Aging data were used for this study. The total sample consisted of 1,948 female participants, who have at least one grandchild, and who were age 50–74 in 2006. The study employed the multiple-group latent growth curve using Mplus to analyze if patterns of grandchild care predicted developmental trajectories of depressive symptoms and self-rated health over time. Results: Grandmothers who stopped raising grandchildren reported more depressive symptoms over time than did grandmothers who never raised grandchildren. However, this pattern was not found in the group with income more than 60 percent of the median income in Korea, but this pattern was found in the group with income below 60 percent of the median. Conclusion: Findings from the latent growth curve modeling indicate how caring for grandchildren affected grandmothers’ depressive symptoms and self-rated health status from a longitudinal perspective. Implications for future research and policies on grandchild care are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1556-1563
Number of pages8
JournalAging and Mental Health
Volume22
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - 2 Dec 2018

Keywords

  • depressive symptoms
  • Grandchild care
  • health status
  • Korean longitudinal study of aging
  • latent trajectories

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