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Don’t LIve with the Grandkids

Last update on: Mar 15 2020

It’s likely to shorten your life, according to this study. It’s an academic study, and the link is to the abstract. You can download the entire paper free in PDF. The paper says to some extent older people who live with younger people should be expected to have shorter life expectancies, because health problems often are the reason for such living arrangements. But the paper says the authors were able to adjust for this factor and that elderly people living with people under age 18 still decreases life expectancy. Here’s the full abstract.

Elderly Americans who live with people under age 18 have lower life evaluations than those who do not. They also experience worse emotional outcomes, including less happiness and enjoyment, and more stress, worry, and anger. In part, these negative outcomes come from selection into living with a child, especially selection on poor health, which is associated with worse outcomes irrespective of living conditions. Yet even with controls, the elderly who live with children do worse. This is in sharp contrast to younger adults who live with children, likely their own, whose life evaluation is no different in the presence of the child once background conditions are controlled for. Parents, like elders, have enhanced negative emotions in the presence of a child, but unlike elders, also have enhanced positive emotions. In parts of the world where fertility rates are higher, the elderly do not appear to have lower life evaluations when they live with children; such living arrangements are more usual, and the selection into them is less negative. They also share with younger adults the enhanced positive and negative emotions that come with children. The misery of the elderly living with children is one of the prices of the demographic transition.

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