|Title||Grandparenthood and risk of mortality: Findings from the Health and Retirement Study.|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2020|
|Authors||Ellwardt, L, Hank, K, de Leon, CFMendes|
|Journal||Social Science & Medicine|
|Keywords||Aging, Longitudinal research, Social Relationships, Survival, Well-being|
Grandparenthood constitutes a significant role for older adults and may have important health implications. Our study examines the grandparenthood-mortality nexus, controlling for an array of potentially confounding variables. Longitudinal survey data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) were used, comprising twelve biennial waves from 1992 to 2014 with linked data on vital status derived from the National Death Index. The sample included 27,463 participants aged ≥51 years with at least one child. Cox proportional hazard models tested the association between grandparenthood and mortality risk with adjustment for socio-demographic variables, for social variables including characteristics of and contact with children, and for health variables, including measures of general, functional and mental health. Grandparenthood overall was unassociated with mortality risk in both women and men. However, the subpopulation of younger, partnered grandmothers with a larger number of grandchildren tended to exhibit a substantial increase in mortality risk as compared to women without grandchildren.