This article has been reviewed according to Science X's editorial process and policies. Editors have highlighted the following attributes while ensuring the content's credibility:

fact-checked

peer-reviewed publication

trusted source

proofread

Maternal grandmothers' support buffers children against the impacts of adversity, finds study

grandmother
Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain

A study conducted at the University of Turku shows that investment by maternal grandmothers can improve the well-being of grandchildren who have faced adversities in life. The positive effects can last well into adulthood. The work is published in the journal Scientific Reports.

Investment by maternal grandmothers is likely to reduce emotional and behavioral problems in children resulting from . These experiences may include the death or alcohol problem of a loved one, for example.

The support may take the form of childcare or . Support given by other grandparents was not found to have an equivalent effect.

"The results show that support given by maternal grandmothers can improve the well-being of children who have experienced adversities in life. The positive effects could be expected to last into adulthood," says Senior Researcher Samuli Helle from the University of Turku.

The study is based on data from a survey that was completed by 1,197 English and Welsh adolescents aged 11–16 years.

"The effects of adversities during the sensitive periods of development in childhood can last long into adulthood. They can manifest in adulthood, for example, in a higher risk of premature death and a lower likelihood of having children," says Helle.

Evolutionary biology suggests that grandparental investment in raising grandchildren has developed as a result of natural selection to give offspring a better chance of survival in challenging environments. However, there has been little research done on the extent of the positive impact of grandparental on the development of grandchildren, and the results have been mixed.

More information: Samuli Helle et al, Investment by maternal grandmother buffers children against the impacts of adverse early life experiences, Scientific Reports (2024). DOI: 10.1038/s41598-024-56760-5

Journal information: Scientific Reports

Citation: Maternal grandmothers' support buffers children against the impacts of adversity, finds study (2024, April 25) retrieved 28 May 2024 from https://phys.org/news/2024-04-maternal-grandmothers-buffers-children-impacts.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Explore further

Paternal grandparents' support for grandchildren may decrease when family faces challenges

180 shares

Feedback to editors