Is grandparenting a form of social engagement that benefits cognition in ageing?

Maturitas. 2015 Feb;80(2):122-5. doi: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2014.10.017. Epub 2014 Nov 8.


Social engagement is a lifestyle factor that has received much attention in preventative research. Numerous studies in the current literature have argued the importance of social engagement in ageing, particularly for cognitive health. One key example of social engagement in later life is the role of a grandparent. This role promotes a socially active lifestyle that may be beneficial to cognitive ageing. Recent research has found that spending some time with grandchildren is beneficial; however, the pressures and responsibilities characteristic of this role should also be taken into consideration, as they may have opposing effects on cognitive health. Given the current popularity of grandparenting as a form of childcare, the interests of the grandparents and the impact on ageing health need to be carefully considered.

Keywords: Caregiving; Cognition; Grandparenting.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aging / psychology*
  • Child
  • Child Care*
  • Cognition*
  • Cognitive Aging / psychology*
  • Family
  • Grandparents / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Social Behavior
  • Social Participation / psychology*