The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

3168.0: Monday, November 17, 2003 - Board 8

Abstract #74438

Predictors of Mental Health Status Among Women Over the Age of 55 Co-Residing with Children Under 18

Holly Beard, MS, Susan R. Perkins, MS, and Stacey B Plichta, ScD. College of Health Sciences, Old Dominion University, 129 Spong Hall, Norfolk, VA 23529

This study seeks to examine the relationship of mental health to living with a child under 18, among women aged 55+. It also examines the effect, if any, that family structure may have on mental health among those who do live with a child. It is assumed that the majority of those living with a child will have at least some parenting responsibilities. It is hypothesized that those living with a child will have worse mental health status than other women, but that having other adults in the household will moderate this effect. Data from the 2001 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS) are used to test these hypotheses. There were 8,878 women over the age of 55 who completed the BRFSS. Of these, five hundred five (505) or 5.7% of women were living with a child. The total sample was representative of the U.S. population of women aged 55+. However, those co-residing with children were disproportionately African-American (29%), younger, and more likely to be working than others. Chi-square analyses and logistic regression were used to identify factors related to mental health status and childcare responsibilities. Older women living with children had significantly worse mental health status than those not living with children. However, among those living with children, family structure was not related to mental health. It appears that parenting grandparents exist in a variety of life circumstances, and that these circumstances do not mitigate their need for support in the parenting role.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Women, Aging

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Committee on Affiliates Student Poster Session

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA