Grandparental support and maternal depression: do grandparental characteristics matter more for separating mothers?

Niina Metsä-Simola, Anna Baranowska-Rataj, Hanna Remes, Mine Kühn, Pekka Martikainen

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelVetenskapligPeer review


Grandparental support may protect mothers from depression, particularly mothers who separate and enter single parenthood. Using longitudinal Finnish register data on 116,917 separating and 371,703 non-separating mothers with young children, we examined differences in mothers’ antidepressant purchases by grandparental characteristics related to provision of support. Grandparents’ younger age (<70 years), employment, and lack of severe health problems predicted a lower probability of maternal depression. Depression was also less common if grandparents lived close to the mother and if the maternal grandparents’ union was intact. Differences in maternal depression by grandparental characteristics were larger among separating than among non-separating mothers, particularly during the years before separation. Overall, maternal grandmothers’ characteristics appeared to matter most, while the role of paternal grandparents was smaller. The findings suggest that grandparental characteristics associated with increased potential for providing support and decreased need of receiving support predict a lower likelihood of maternal depression, particularly among separating mothers.
TidskriftPopulation Studies
StatusPublicerad - 14 feb. 2024
MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad


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