Does grandparenting pay off? The effect of child care on grandparents' cognitive functioning

Arpino B & Bordone V (2014). Does grandparenting pay off? The effect of child care on grandparents' cognitive functioning. Journal of Marriage and Family 76 (2): 337-351. DOI:10.1111/jomf.12096.

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Abstract

The authors examined whether the provision of child care helps older adults maintain better cognitive functioning. Descriptive evidence from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (n = 5,610 women and n = 4,760 men, ages 50-80) shows that intensively engaged grandparents have lower cognitive scores than the others. The authors show that this result is attributable to background characteristics and not to child care per se. Using an instrumental variable approach, they found that providing child care has a positive effect on 1 of the 4 cognitive tests considered: verbal fluency. For the other cognitive tests, no statistically significant effect was found. Given the same level of engagement, they found very similar results for grandmothers and grandfathers. These findings point to the inclusion of grandparenting among other cognitively stimulating social activities and the need to consider such benefits when discussing the implications of this important type of nonmonetary intergenerational transfer.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Child care; Cognition; Grandparents; Instrumental variable approach; Intergenerational transfers
Research Programs: World Population (POP)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 08:50
Last Modified: 25 Jan 2017 13:54
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/10968

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