A new study conducted by researchers at Boston College found that a good relationship between grandparents and their grown-up grandchildren helped improve the mental well-being of both.
Researchers tracked the mental well-being of 376 grandparents and 340 grandchildren for nearly two decades, between 1985 and 2004. All of the participants were a part of Longitudinal Study of Generations and the average age of grandparents was 77 and grandchildren was 31 years at the midpoint of the study in 1994.
The researchers found that grandparents and adult grandchildren who were emotionally close and who received or gave tangible support had fewer symptoms of depression. The study was presented at the 108th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association in New York.
"Extended family members, such as grandparents and grandchildren, serve important functions in one another's daily lives throughout adulthood. We found that an emotionally close grandparent-adult grandchild relationship was associated with fewer symptoms of depression for both generations", lead researcher Sara M Moorman said.