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Grandparents can impact mom’s mental health, study says, and El Pasoans agree

EL PASO, (Texas) — Many agree that parents need to support their children — but what about grandparents? According to a new study, recently published, grandparents can be an important factor in the positive mental health of a mother.

The study was focused mainly on how mothers handle depression -- and anti-depressant usage. The study looked at the mother's relationship to their own parents, and how the parents/grandparents lived, behaved, supported and interacted with the young mother.

The research was conducted in Finland, and followed over 480,000 moms with young children over 14 years. From 2000-2014, the researchers collected data on mothers. They looked at whether the grandparents were in a committed relationship, age, health, employment and other factors.

What they found was that mothers could be less likely to use antidepressants, especially for those moms who had separated from their partner.

"Overall," the study abstract states, "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."

Throughout the research, the analysis found anti-depressant use in particular was higher for those mothers who were far from their parents, grandparents in poor health, unemployed or older.

Avery Martinez covers mental health in the Borderland as part of ABC-7’s Be Mindful initiative. He is also a Report for America corps member. RFA places talented, emerging journalists in newsrooms like ABC-7’s to report on under-covered issues and communities. Report for America is an initiative of The GroundTruth Project, an award-winning nonprofit journalism organization dedicated to rebuilding journalism from the ground up.

Article Topic Follows: Be Mindful

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Avery Martinez


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