Grandparents can provide support to prevent mothers from depression


Grandparents can provide support to prevent mothers from depression

Research conducted at the University of Helsinki found that mothers of young children are less likely to use antidepressants if their own parents and in-laws are healthy and live nearby. Conversely, mothers are more likely to use antidepressants if the grandparents of their children are over 70 years old, in poor health, and live more than ten kilometers away. This highlights the importance of familial support for mothers’ well-being.

The study, which analyzed the data of almost half a million Finnish mothers, showed that the age and health of maternal grandparents had a greater impact on maternal well-being than paternal grandparents. Maternal grandmothers were particularly important in providing support for young children. However, one notable finding was that if paternal grandparents lived nearby, mothers were less likely to use antidepressants.

The study also looked at the impact of grandparents’ characteristics on divorced mothers, who were found to rely more on the support of their own parents for their well-being. The significance of grandparents’ support was evident before the divorce, indicating the importance of support networks during stressful times.

It is suggested that the role of grandparents in supporting parents of young children may be more pronounced in countries with weaker support networks, such as public daycare and elderly care. The study, which was published in Population Studies, sheds light on the importance of familial support for maternal well-being in Finland.

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