Grandfather Involvement and aging men's mental health

Am J Mens Health. 2012 May;6(3):229-39. doi: 10.1177/1557988311430249. Epub 2012 Feb 28.

Abstract

The mental health of aging men is an understudied social issue. Although it is widely accepted that meaningful family relationships are associated with fewer depressive symptoms and greater positive affect, scholars have largely overlooked relationships between grandfathers and grandchildren as being beneficial to men's mental health. This study investigates the differences in the depressive symptoms and positive affect of 351 grandfathers. Using a cluster analytic technique, participants were categorized as involved, passive, and disengaged based on their frequency of contact, level of commitment, and participation in activities with grandchildren. Comparative analyses indicate that involved grandfathers had fewer depressive symptoms than disengaged grandfathers. Involved grandfathers had significantly higher scores on positive affect than disengaged grandfathers, and passive grandfathers had significantly higher scores on positive affect than disengaged grandfathers. This study provides evidence that grandfather-grandchild relationships influence aging men's mental health. Implications for practitioners working with aging men are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Affect
  • Aged
  • Aging / psychology*
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Data Collection
  • Depression
  • Humans
  • Intergenerational Relations*
  • Male
  • Mental Health*
  • New York