The Double Burden for Grandmothers in a High Fertility Setting: Does the Combination of Work and Family Responsibilities Affect Health?

Feinian Chen, University of Maryland
Luoman Bao, University of Maryland
Zachary Zimmer, University of California, San Francisco
Socorro A. Gultiano, University of San Carlos

To determine whether caring for grandchildren affects health of a grandmother, it is crucial to examine the complex combination of burdens of employment and family responsibilities. Coupling the rich longitudinal time use data with the detailed job information available in the Cebu Longitudinal Health and Nutrition Survey (1994, 1998, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2012), we first use a latent class approach to develop “profiles” of women based on different combinations of work and family activities. Caring for grandchildren per se may not lead to poor health, but the combination of intensive caregiving, household chores, and high level of involvement in paid work may take its toll, particularly if the nature of employment is not compatible with child care obligations. Using growth curve modeling, we examine the effect of timing of transition into grandmotherhood, associated changes in work and family responsibilities, and extended periods characterized with multiple burdens on health trajectories.

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Presented in Session 138: Grandparents, Residence, Health and Happiness