Do Grandchildren Influence How Old You Feel?

TitleDo Grandchildren Influence How Old You Feel?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsBordone, V, Arpino, B
JournalJournal of Aging and Health
Date Published12/2015
KeywordsAdult children, Expectations, Healthcare

Objectives: Guided by the acknowledged importance of measures of aging alternative to chronological age, we explored the association between subjective age, on the one hand, and having grandchildren and provision of grandchild care, on the other, by gender and age groups. Method: Data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS; N = 1,701 men and 2,395 women aged 50-85) and linear regression models were used to test two hypotheses. Results: Grandparents feel older than their grandchildless counterparts at younger ages, but such association is reversed in later life if they look after their grandchildren. A cumulative negative association between subjective age and both having grandchildren and providing grandchild care holds for older women. Discussion: This study extends prior research by examining age and gender differences in factors associated with subjective age. The findings suggest that grandparenthood is central in shaping the personal experience of aging. Future studies should address the causality of the factors analyzed.

Endnote Keywords

subjective age/grandparents/grandchild care/intergenerational relationships/family Structure

Endnote ID


Citation Key6453