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Children cause stress to grandmothers

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CLEVELAND, Nov 11, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- A U.S. study says grandmothers caring for grandchildren are more prone to stress and depressive symptoms than non-caregivers.

Carol Musil, associate professor of nursing at Case Western Reserve in Cleveland, led the National Institutes of Health-funded study on the effects of care-giving on the health of 450 Ohio grandmothers.

In the four-year study, grandmothers who are the primary caregivers of children said they experienced greater stress and depression than non-caregivers.

"These are older women who may have health needs of their own," Musil said. "So caring for a grandchild who may have health problems, developmental challenges or an increased need for care creates additional stress for these grandparents."

The ages of the children may make a difference: younger children are physically demanding but older children often require more emotional and psychological energy, the study said.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.


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