Stress-related mental health and growth among first-time grandparents: The moderating role of family support

Shira Sobol, Shirley Ben-Shlomo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Grandparents play a significant role in modern society, often while struggling to juggle the expectations, demands, and commitments of career and family. The current study examined the unique and combined contribution of stress-related variables associated with multiple roles, such as work stress over commitment, economic stress, and grandchild care burden, to mental health and personal growth of first-time grandparents. The study also examined the role of family support as a moderator of these associations. One hundred ninety-seven first-time Israeli grandparents were asked to complete a series of self-report questionnaires. Higher levels of work-related stress were associated with lower mental health, whereas grandchild care burden was associated with higher personal growth. Self-mastery and family support contributed to the prediction of mental health. When family support was high, work commitment was positively related to mental health, and economic stress was positively related to personal growth. The findings point to the crucial role of family support in balancing and preserving resources that are important to the mental health of first-time grandparents, while enabling grandparents to be challenged and thrive through their stressors. Therapists who meet with first-time grandparents in the community should take these factors into account when assisting them in adjusting to their new role.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)503-515
Number of pages13
JournalStress and Health
Volume35
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Keywords

  • grandparents
  • mental health
  • personal growth

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