Intensity of Grandparent Caregiving, Health, and Well-Being in Cultural Context: A Systematic Review

Athena C.Y. Chan, Sun Kyung Lee, Jingchen Zhang, Jasmine Banegas, Scott Marsalis, Abigail H. Gewirtz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background and Objectives: Grandparents are key resources in grandchildren care globally. However, mixed findings indicated that multiple role engagement may enhance well-being and bring demands on grandparent caregivers in different contexts. This systematic review examines the association between the intensity of grandparent caregiving and their health and well-being (i.e., physical, mental, cognitive, and life satisfaction) by continent and country/region. Research Design and Methods: Systematic searches were conducted in 4 databases. Peer-reviewed articles with quantitative designs published between 1990 and November 2021 were identified. A rigorous selection process was followed using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. The studies were critically appraised, and their results were narratively synthesized. Results: Sixty-five articles from 29 countries/regions were included. Findings suggested a concave curvilinear relationship between the intensity of grandparent caregiving and their health and well-being, with the optimal caregiving intensity varying across sociocultural contexts. In Europe, Oceania, the Middle East, and South America, providing supplementary or occasional care seems beneficial for grandparents' health and well-being, especially supporting dual-earner families. In East Asia, economic resources appear to buffer the adverse effect of primary care on grandparents' well-being. In the United States, findings vary across ethnicity/race. Discussion and Implications: Collectively, the intensity of grandparent caregiving, health, and well-being is complicated by grandparents' roles in the family and cultural differences. Acknowledging the bidirectional relationship between well-being and grandparents' capacity for providing care, the well-being as outcome is a limitation. Despite so, this systematic review calls for culturally-tailored family programs to support grandparent caregiving.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)851-873
Number of pages23
JournalGerontologist
Volume63
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The subscription for Covidence was provided by nonsponsored funding at the University of Minnesota to A. H. Gewirtz.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s).

Keywords

  • Caregiver stress
  • Custodial grandparents
  • Grandfamilies
  • Grandparents raising grandchildren
  • Intensity of grandchild care

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Systematic Review
  • Journal Article

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