Healthy Generational Bonds

Want to boost your mood? Go pay grandma or grandpa a visit. And while you’re there; let them do something nice for you. Seriously, it will make them (and you) feel better.

Turns out that researchers have found there is less depression in seniors and the grandchildren of seniors  who maintain close bonds and engage in what sociologists describe as a give-and-take relationship.

Researchers at Boston College, who recently presented the findings at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, studied more than 376 seniors and 340 grandchildren to reach their conclusions. The researchers found that grandparents who were able to give tangible support to their grandchildren; such as doing a chore or favor, offering some pocket money or giving advice had fewer signs of depression than their peers who were not able to provide this support. Grandchildren who were able to offer similar kinds of support and assistance to their grandparents similarly reported less depression.

Researchers speculated that for seniors, in particular, feeling dependent and frustrated they are not able to offer tangible help to their grandchildren may actually contribute to their depression.