|Outing with Grandma!|
Growing up and growing older with our grandparents
Did you grow up knowing and spending time with your grandparents or even one grandparent? It may seem to be an odd question, but the truth is there are many people who never knew their grandparents. Obviously sometimes the grandparents have passed away, but “not really knowing” grandparents can also result from a physical distance or there could be some kind of estrangement in the family dynamic.
If you have never experienced a relationship with a grandparent there is a good chance that you have grown up vicariously watching from afar how your friends interact with their grandparents or find movies or television shows that highlight such relationships.
Now researchers are finding that the bonding between grandparents and adult grandchildren can have positive mental health outcomes for both the grandparents and the grandchildren.
American Sociological Association (ASA) held its 108th Annual Meeting
You read correctly the ASA held its 108th Annual Meeting in New York City August 10-13, 2013. If you are not familiar with the ASA you can visit their website here. Interestingly, it was…
In the summer of 1905, Professor C.W.A. Veditz of George Washington University initiated a discussion among sociologists throughout the United States. He wrote to several dozen people to ask if there was need for or desire for forming an organization of sociologists. Dozens of letters were exchanged that summer. Ultimately, consensus was that the time had come for a society of sociologists in the United States…
Sara M. Moorman and her team presented data on study of grandparents and grandchildren
Sara M. Moorman is an assistant professor in the department of sociology and the Institute on Aging at Boston College. She and her team presented their research at the ASA meeting. It should be noted that the research is still considered preliminary, as it has not been published in a peer-reviewed journal.
- 376 grandparents participated in the study, along with 340 grandchildren
- Participants were tracked from 1985 through 2004
- The average birth year for the grandparent was 1917
- The average birth year for the grandchild was 1964
- At the midpoint of the study the average grandparent was 77 and the average grandchild was 31
- Participants filled out surveys every few years – they answered questions about how often they helped each with household tasks, shopping together and how they got along in general
- Participants were also asked to report on the frequency of having depressive symptoms, like sadness and low appetite
- Grandparents and grandchildren alike had fewer symptoms of depression when they had established relationship with the other generation
- Additionally, for grandparents it appears to be important that they feel independent and be able to offer not only advice, but also give a small gift or be able to treat the grandchild to a meal
NBC’s David Gregory and Savannah Guthrie discuss the study’s results with Judith Sills, Ph.D, and Ish Major, MD
If you are having trouble viewing the video, you can see it here.
This is all good news and good advice offered by Drs. Sills and Major. Everyone really wants to be needed…and as the old song goes “people who need people are the luckiest people in the world!”