Health of Grandmothers: A Comparison by Caregiver Status


Authors: Musil C.M.1; Ahmad M.2

Source: Journal of Aging and Health, February 2002, vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 96-121(26)

Publisher: SAGE Publications


Objectives: In this cross-sectional study, stress, coping, social support, and health were compared in 86 primary caregiver grandmothers, 85 partial/supplemental caregiver grandmothers in multigenerational homes, and 112 noncaregiver grandmothers. Whether support and coping reduced effects of stress on the physical and mental health of grandmother caregivers, including mediating and moderating effects, was examined.

Methods: A convenience sample completed a mailed questionnaire that included measures of stress, health, support, and coping.

Results: Primary caregivers reported worse self-assessed health, but partial/supplemental caregivers reported a tendency toward more depression and more instrumental support. Noncaregivers reported the least stress and less active and avoidant coping. Coping and subjective support added to the variance of depression and self-rated health. Subjective support and avoidant coping mediated between stress and health, and active coping moderated the effects of stress on health.

Discussion: Implications of these findings relative to the health of grandmothers by caregiver status are discussed.


Language: English

Document Type: Research article

Affiliations: 1: Case Western Reserve University 2: University of Jordan