With increased life expectancy, individuals are more likely to become grandparents during their life course. Grandparents are a valuable resource in family life, they can provide important practical and emotional support to their children and grandchildren. The care of children by grandparents varies in type, degree of involvement and frequency. This paper aims at investigating the literature on the effects of caring for grandchildren on the mental health of grandparents. Results show mixed data. On one hand, the caregiver role can contribute to feeling fulfilled, rewarded, which is associated with increased self-efficacy and has benefits on their mental health. On the other hand, caring for grandchildren can have negative effects on grandparents’ mental health (anxiety, depression, exhaustion), especially when grandchildren are exclusively in their care or when grandchildren are experiencing a disability or chronic illness. The particular case of Romanian parents migration phenomenon and its effects on the children left at home, often in the care of their grandparents is discussed, as well as factors involved in the grandparent-grandchild relationship.
Address for correspondence:
Cezarina D. STANESCU-BOTAN
Address: Institutul National pentru Sanatatea Mamei si Copilului
Bd. Lacul Tei nr.120, Sector 2 Bucuresti, Romania