New Study Highlights Impact of Grandparents on Maternal Mental Health

 / 

In a recent study published in the journal Population Studies, researchers have revealed the significant impact of grandparents and how they play an important role in influencing the mental health of mothers, particularly concerning the use of antidepressants.

Led by Dr. Niina Metsä-Simola, a demographics researcher at the University of Helsinki in Finland, the study sheds light on the correlation between access to supportive grandparents and decreased antidepressant usage among mothers.

Tracking 488,000 mothers of young children in Finland over a span of 14 years (from 2000 to 2014), the research focused on various demographic factors, including the age, health, proximity, and employment status of both maternal and paternal grandparents.

The findings unveiled a striking link: mothers were less likely to purchase antidepressants if their parents were younger than 70, employed, and in good health.

Impact of Grandparents On Maternal Mental Health

According to Dr. Metsä-Simola, grandparents serve as a crucial source of support for families, with their assistance playing a pivotal role in mitigating maternal depression. This support not only benefits the mothers’ well-being but also contributes to the positive outcomes of children living with separated mothers, highlighting the broader impact on family dynamics.

The study emphasized that the association between access to grandparents’ help and reduced antidepressant usage was particularly pronounced among mothers who were separated from their partners. This underscores the importance of familial support systems, especially in challenging circumstances.

Commenting on the findings, Lynne McIntyre, a perinatal psychotherapist and researcher at the Autonomous University of Barcelona in Spain, emphasized the importance of community in parenting. While societal norms may have shifted away from multi-generational living arrangements, the need for strong social support remains essential.

However, the study also acknowledged instances where grandparents’ influence on maternal mental health could be negative. The highest rates of antidepressant usage were observed among mothers whose parents or in-laws were older, in poor health or lived far away.

In such cases, the lack of support from grandparents may exacerbate stress for the parent, leading to increased mental health challenges.

Dr. Metsä-Simola highlighted that the research was conducted in Finland, a country with generous healthcare and childcare systems. Thus, the support provided by older generations may extend beyond traditional caregiving roles to encompass broader familial and community needs.

Furthermore, the study emphasized the importance of forming supportive communities beyond immediate family members. Whether it’s seeking assistance from neighbors, friends, or online parenting groups, building a network of support is essential for maternal well-being.

McIntyre shared her experience of proactively engaging with her community, emphasizing the importance of forging connections early on to prevent feelings of isolation later.

Whether it’s through social gatherings, online forums, or neighborhood interactions, establishing a support system can alleviate the challenges of parenting and promote mental wellness.

In conclusion, the study underscores the critical role grandparents play in influencing maternal mental health outcomes. By recognizing the significance of familial support networks and fostering community connections, society can better support mothers in navigating the complexities of parenthood while prioritizing their mental well-being.


— Share —

— About the Author —

Leave a Reply

Up Next

Lack of Sleep Linked to Rising Cases of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, Warns Expert

In a recent revelation, lack of adequate sleep has been associated with a concerning rise in cases of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), according to insights shared by medical experts. As sleep deprivation continues to plague a significant portion of the population, the implications on public health are becoming increasingly alarming.

More than a third of adults in the United States fail to attain the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep each night, a trend that has sparked growing concerns among healthcare professionals. The scarcity of shuteye, it turns out, can have profound effects beyond daytime fatigue and drowsiness.

What is Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease?

According to Ibrahim Hanouneh, a gastroenterologist with

Up Next

Ban on Popular Snacks Due to Cancer-Causing Chemicals Spark Concern

Amid growing concerns over the presence of cancer-causing chemicals in popular snacks and candies, several US states are considering bans on popular snacks. Cereals like Lucky Charms and Froot Loops, candies such as Skittles and M&M’s, and snacks like Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and Doritos are among the products under scrutiny.

The move follows California’s implementation of the “Skittles Ban,” targeting chemicals like brominated vegetable oil, potassium bromate, propylparaben, and red dye No. 3. These substances, already banned in most of Europe, have been linked to health risks including cancer and kidney issues.

New York lawmakers have introduced bills to ban additional chemicals like titanium dioxide, BHA, and azodicarbonamide (ADA). Similarly, politicians in Pennsylvania are advocating for bans on food colorings like Red 40, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Blue 1

Up Next

Study Explores Impact of Residential Green Space on Childhood Mental Health

A recent study published in JAMA Network Open investigates the relationship between residential green space and externalizing and internalizing symptoms in children. Conducted in the United States, the study aims to identify potential factors that can mitigate risks associated with childhood mental health disorders.

According to the study, up to 40% of children in the US may meet the criteria for mental disorders by adulthood, with an increased prevalence of externalizing (e.g., rule-breaking and aggression) and internalizing (e.g., depression and anxiety) symptoms.

Researchers suggest that environmental factors, such as green spa

Up Next

Study Links Volatile Work Hours to Burnout and Health Issues

A recent study conducted by NYU Social Work professor Wen-Jui Han has shed light on the detrimental effects of volatile work hours on both physical and mental health. The research, which analyzed data spanning over 30 years, found a significant correlation between irregular work hours and increased health concerns.

The study, which examined the work schedules and sleep patterns of over 7,000 Americans, revealed that individuals working rotating shifts were more prone to health problems such as diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. The primary factor contributing to these issues was identified as a disruption in sleep patterns caused by inconsistent work schedules.

Jamaica Shiers, a representative from Path Behavioral Health in Salt Lake City, emphasized the prevalence of burnout among adults, attributing it to the pressure to maintain peak performance at al

Up Next

Can Burnout Be Broken? Insights from Experts on Breaking the Burnout Cycle

In today’s fast-paced world, the cycle of busy periods, burnout, and recovery has become all too familiar. But is this burnout cycle inevitable, or can individuals develop immunity to burnout? Elle Hunt explores this question in a recent article.

Hunt begins by sharing her own journey with burnout, starting at the age of 18 when she was juggling multiple responsibilities. Despite her initial resilience, burnout eventually caught up with her, leading to a breakdown at work.

Reflecting on her experiences over the years, she highlights the grim predictability of the burnout cycle and wonders if there’s a way to break free from it for good.

To delve deeper into this topic, Hunt interviews Kandi Wiens, a senior fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s medical education master’s program and author of “Burnou

Up Next

Ethical Concerns Surrounding Involuntary Mental Health Treatment Explored on WBUR’s On Point

In recent years, several states have implemented policy changes aimed at making involuntary commitment easier for individuals with severe mental illnesses. However, this shift has sparked intense debate, with critics arguing that forced mental health treatment can potentially do more harm than good to patients while raising significant civil rights questions.

This pressing ethical dilemma was the focus of a recent episode of WBUR’s On Point, aired on April 17, 2024. Hosted by Jonathan Chang and Deborah Becker, the program delved into various perspectives on involuntary mental health treatment, featuring insightful discussions with experts and individuals directly impacted by these policies.

Guests on the show included Will James, the host of KUOW and The Seattle Times’ “Lost Patients” podcast, and Dominic Sisti, an associate professor of medical ethic

Up Next

NBCUniversal Introduces Office Dog Amidst Workplace Stress

In a bid to alleviate stress and boost morale amidst internal challenges, media giant NBCUniversal has introduced a new member to its workforce: Atlas, a six-month-old black labrador retriever.

Amidst a tumultuous period marked by leadership changes, internal tensions, and efforts to encourage office attendance, Atlas has emerged as a beacon of comfort and companionship at the company’s headquarters at 30 Rockefeller Plaza.

NBCUniversal, a unit owned by Comcast, has been navigating a series of challenges in recent times. The dismissal of its CEO following a sexual harassment complaint, coupled with internal tensions surrounding editorial decisions, has contributed to a palpable sense of unease among employees.

Additionally, ongoing global events such as the conflict between Israel and Hamas have further