The Effect of Grandparents Caring for Grandchildren on Depression Trajectories: The Intersectionality of Race/Ethnicity, Gender, and SES

Feinian Chen, North Carolina State University
Christine A Mair, North Carolina State University

In the United States, African American and Hispanic grandparents are more likely to care for grandchildren. They are disproportionately disadvantaged in the socioeconomic ladder and often have poor health conditions regardless of their caregiving status. At the same time, they have strong social support networks due to different cultural/familial norms. Grandparent caregiving is also a gendered process, with grandmothers assuming a more extensive role in grandchild care compared to grandfathers. Utilizing data from a nationally representative, longitudinal panel study of older adults in the United States (The Health and Retirement Study), we use growth curve models to examine the effects of grandparent caregiving on depressive symptoms initially and over time for a diverse sample of African American, Hispanic, and white grandparents. We expect that grandparents’ depression trajectories are influenced by grandchildren caregiving, but the effect varies by race/ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic status.

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Presented in Session 189: Gender Stratification and Health