Grandparents may worsen some moms’ baby blues
Does living with grandparents ease or worsen a mother’s baby blues? The answer may depend on the mother’s marital status, a new study suggests. Married and single mothers suffer higher rates of depression when they live in multi-generational households in their baby’s first year of life. But for moms who live with, but aren’t married to, their partners, it’s just the opposite.
Does living with grandparents ease or worsen a mothers’ baby blues? The answer may depend on the mother’s marital status, a new study from Duke University suggests.Married and single mothers suffer higher rates of depression when they live in multi-generational households in their baby’s first year of life, the study found. But for moms who live with their romantic partners but aren’t married, having one or more grandparents in the house is linked to lower rates of depression.The pattern held true for rich, poor and middle class women. The findings varied by race, however, with Latina single mothers faring especially poorly in multi-generational households. Latina single moms were six times more likely to experience depression if they lived in multi-generational households in their child’s first year of life than if they did not.The variance between subgroups may partly reflect differing expectations and stigmas, said lead author Joy Piontak, a research analyst with the Duke University Center for Child and Family Policy. For instance, married couples commonly expect to maintain a separate household. Cohabiting couples don’t always face the same expectations, as other researchers have noted.”There’s a strong expectation that married couples will be economically self-sufficient,” Piontak said. “Those are strong cultural values. So there could be a stronger sense of failure among married couples if they have to live with their parents.”Still, Piontak cautioned that she can’t say for certain what causal relationship is at play. Living with grandparents may worsen depression for single and married mothers. …
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