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Is Raising Your Grandchild Bad for Your Health? The Association Between Custodial Grandparent Status and Health Biomarkers in Taiwanese Grandparents

Department of Psychology, Mississippi State University, P.O. Box 6161, Mississippi State, MS 39762, USA
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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(5), 1753; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17051753
Received: 1 February 2020 / Revised: 2 March 2020 / Accepted: 5 March 2020 / Published: 7 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health and Health Care Access of Vulnerable Populations)
Data from two waves of the Social Environment and Biomarkers of Aging Study in Taiwan were analyzed to determine the effects of custodial grandparenting on health in a longitudinal sample. Self-reported measures on respondents’ perception of their health, six health biomarkers, the presence of twelve diseases, and a measure of stress were included. Custodial Grandparents (CGPs) were significantly more likely to report worse health than their peers. However, there were no significant differences in biomarkers, and CGPs were only significantly different from non-custodial grandparents (nCGPs) regarding lower respiratory disease. Results suggest that CGPs do not have significantly worse health than nCGPs, but report feeling less healthy. This disparity is suspected to be due to energy levels or stress sources not assessed by the variables in the original study. These results and their implications based upon the stress-coping model elucidate the need to design interventions that incorporate the East Asian cultural values and practices in order to promote better health outcomes for CGP populations overall. View Full-Text
Keywords: custodial grandparents; biomarkers; health custodial grandparents; biomarkers; health
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Fokakis, Z.N.; Nadorff, D.K.; McKay, I.T. Is Raising Your Grandchild Bad for Your Health? The Association Between Custodial Grandparent Status and Health Biomarkers in Taiwanese Grandparents. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 1753.

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