Happy grandparents? A longitudinal study on changes in the perception of quality of life for over-fifty grandparents, between "family revolution" and economic crisis

Giulia Cavrini, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano
Carlo Lallo, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano
Michela Alagna, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano

Objectives: To estimate variation in well-being of European grandparents over a period of 9 years (2004-2013) from longitudinal data and examine whether such variation is significantly different both between countries and from the non-grandparent population in the same time period. Design: Longitudinal multilevel study. Data from the waves 1,2,4 and 5 of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe. The Share survey is a cross-national panel database of micro data of approximately 110,000 individuals ( 73.000 grandparents) from 20 European countries aged 50 or older, and cover a period of 9 years (from wave 1 in 2004 to wave 5 in 2013). Main outcome measure: casp12 scores of European grandparents, assessed four times over 9 years (Share waves 1,2,4,5) Results: Italian and Spanish grandmothers present significant worse paths in the change of CASP12 score over the time with respect to women that are not grandmothers. Males present more nuanced situation between countries, but bigger variation between grandfathers and not. Conclusions: European countries show very different paths in the longitudinal change of quality of life for elderly, and grandparents especially. The Italian grandmothers suffer more than others a negative effect on the longitudinal change of the quality of life, over the period 2004-2013. Further studies, focused on differences between European countries over time, are necessary to better understand the controversial relationship between quality of life and the new role of European grandparent.

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Presented in Session 115: Families, health and well-being