The health and wellbeing of grandparents caring for grandchildren: The role of cumulative advantage/disadvantage

Lead Research Organisation: King's College London
Department Name: Gerontology

Abstract

Our project focuses on a previously neglected area of research: how does providing care for grandchildren impact on the health and wellbeing of grandparents? Promoting the health and wellbeing of older people is a critical policy issue as the population ages, while social, economic and demographic changes across Europe point to an increasing role for grandparents in providing childcare support to families. Despite competing pressures on older workers to remain in the workforce for longer and to provide care to frail family members, there are additional pressures on grandparents to provide childcare. This is thought to be due to policies encouraging more mothers into the paid workforce, increases in rates of family breakdown and single motherhood, and financial pressures on families. This vital economic and social role is largely overlooked or taken for granted by policymakers, and the health impacts on older people of taking on these childcare roles are not known.

This issue affects millions of people. There are 14 million grandparents in the UK, many of working age: 25% of grandparents over the age of 50 are under 60, and 40 per cent are under 65. In Britain, 17% of grandparents with a grandchild under 16 provide intensive levels of childcare of at least ten hours a week and around one in thirty provides full time care to, or lives with a grandchild. Prior research suggests those grandparents with 'primary care' responsibilities for a grandchild or who undertake intensive grandparenting roles are often among the most disadvantaged and in the poorest health. However, since this is mostly drawn from cross-sectional data, it is not known whether or to what extent this is due to cumulative disadvantages throughout the life course or to the impact of grandchild care per se. A better understanding of the underlying mechanisms and causal pathways between grandchild care and grandparent health and wellbeing is needed.

Earlier findings on the relationship between grandchild care and grandparent health are inconclusive and researchers have suggested that this may be because this relationship is likely to vary by socio-economic circumstances with those in the most vulnerable groups being the most adversely affected. Using the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) and the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) we will examine the long-term social, health and economic determinants of grandparents' current health and wellbeing status, focusing on the intervening role of grandchild care. We will focus on understanding how cumulative advantage and disadvantage interacts with grandchild care to affect grandparent health and wellbeing. Using the life history information collected we will be able to explore the relationship between different life experiences and grandparents' current health and wellbeing. For example, we will be able to capture lifetime experiences such as time spent in institutional care as children, with single parents, periods of poor health as children and with ill-health and disability as adults, periods of unemployment, experiences of divorce, widowhood and single parenthood, periods of partner's ill health/disability, and frequent house moves. Such an analysis will provide us with a better understanding of the cumulative impact of life course trajectories on health outcomes among grandparents. We will also explore how variations over time in grandparent childcare and other socio-economic and demographic factors affect grandparents' own health and wellbeing.

This is important as understanding the health and wellbeing impact of engagement in childcare on older people will provide important evidence to enable policy makers across Europe to ensure that the role of grandparents in children's lives is better supported and any deleterious effects on health are minimised.

Planned Impact

As the first study of its kind in the U.K. the research will be of international importance and will benefit a wide range of people. In addition to the academic community our project findings will be of interest to a wide variety of NGOs, including think tanks, older people's and intergenerational organisations and family charities engaged in policy work. For example, the research findings will be of direct interest to groups lobbying government on behalf of grandparents (Grandparents Plus) and intergenerational practice (Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Beth Johnson Foundation). Moreover, our research is likely to be of use to groups lobbying government for improvements to older people's lives such as Age UK, and those interested in equality issues such as the Commission for Equality and Human Rights and the Fawcett Society.

Our findings will also be of interest to those working on older people's issues in local authorities, government departments and independent policy bodies. For example, the Department of Health is likely to benefit from a much improved empirical knowledge base of the life course in considering social policy interventions in later life health outcomes. The Department of Work and Pensions is likely to benefit considering their interest in ageing well and in the extension of working lives.

The Institute of Gerontology has a longstanding connection with our project partners who have agreed to help with dissemination of the project results to key policy makers and to older people themselves. In addition to their role in aiding dissemination of project findings our project partners have agreed to be advisory group members guiding conceptual development and the policy implications arising from our work. Dissemination will take place formally and informally through these wide networks of policy actors. Formal dissemination activities will consist of a seminar to launch the project, a project web page to be hosted by Grandparents Plus, a professionally designed report of the research findings and an end of project seminar to distribute and publicise the findings to a wide audience of those involved in NGOs, EU and UK policy makers, other voluntary organizations and think tanks.

Most importantly this research will provide knowledge for older people and their families about the advantages and possible problems of providing grandparental care. It will enable them to make choices either directly or indirectly, by giving this kind of information to professionals who may advise them.

Publications

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Di Gessa G (2016) What Drives National Differences in Intensive Grandparental Childcare in Europe? in The journals of gerontology. Series B, Psychological sciences and social sciences

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Di Gessa G (2016) The Health Impact of Intensive and Nonintensive Grandchild Care in Europe: New Evidence From SHARE. in The journals of gerontology. Series B, Psychological sciences and social sciences

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Glaser K (2018) Grandparenthood in Europe. in European journal of ageing

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Price, D., Ribe, E., Di Gessa, G. And Glaser, K. (2018) Grandparenting Practices around the World

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Smethers S (2015) What are the issues affecting grandparents in Britain today? in Quality in Ageing and Older Adults

 
Description Overall, our evidence suggests a positive relationship between grandparental childcare and health over time using SHARE. While cross-sectional analyses show that those who are not looking after grandchildren, and those who are looking after grandchildren intensively, are more likely to report poor health in comparison to those who look after grandchildren non-intensively, longitudinal analyses show that those who provide grandchild care (particularly those providing non-intensive childcare) are significantly less likely to report poor health. Our findings using SHARE support recent work in China and Taiwan that also suggests that providing grandchild care at lower intensity levels is positively related to health whereas higher intensity care levels is negatively associated.

A key focus of our study was an examination of the link between grandparental childcare and health taking into account prior health status as well as socio-economic circumstances across the life course. As our cross-sectional analyses using SHARE show that those in more disadvantaged circumstances are more likely to end up providing intensive grandchild care, it was necessary to rule out that the association between grandparental childcare and health was due to this earlier disadvantage rather than to grandchild care per se. However, once prior health status and lifecourse circumstances are taken into account, grandparental childcare (and in particular non-intensive grandchild care) still shows a positive relationship with health in SHARE. This finding points to the need for public policy to support the role of grandparents as care givers for their grandchildren, at non-intensive levels. At the moment the informal caring role of grandparents especially grandmothers is largely hidden. There is a need for better recognition of this vital role across different policy domains, including pensions and retirement, childcare, housing and social security. Policies to support active ageing need to explicitly recognise and value older people's involvement in their grandchildren's lives, both for the benefit of children, their families and wider families, but also because of the benefits for older people's health and wellbeing.

The difference between our results and work from the U.S., which shows a negative impact of grandparental childcare on health, is most likely due to the measure of grandchild care used. In the U.S., as previously discussed, most studies focus on higher intensity levels of care, for example, grandparents who are 'primary caregivers' for their grandchildren. Evidence from China also suggests that grandparents who provide higher intensity levels of care (that is, grandparents who coreside with their grandchildren and provide 15 or more hours of care per week) are more likely to experience health declines.

In addition, although in our analysis of SHARE we take into account prior health status and earlier socio-economic circumstances, several important indicators are missing which are also likely to affect who provides care. For example, we do not have a measure of the quality of the relationship between grandparents, their children and grandchildren. This is likely to affect which grandparent is selected to look after grandchildren, which in turn is likely to be related to health in later life.

In our cross-sectional examination of ELSA we find that living with a grandchild is negatively associated with QoL whereas looking after a grandchild in the past week shows a positive relationship. However, in longitudinal analyses once prior QoL is taken into account the relationship between these two measures and grandparental health is no longer significant.

We have also recently edited a special section of the European Journal of Ageing where the focus was on grandparenthood in the context of European welfare states (and on the Italian case in particular). The first article in the special section aimed to take stock of the insights current quantitative data sources provide on grandparenthood, and concludes with a discussion of methodological challenges and avenues for future research, such as paying greater attention to grandfatherhood, great-grandparenthood, or grandchildlessness.
Exploitation Route Findings are being used by Grandparents Plus and others to inform policy and practice.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Healthcare

URL https://www.grandparentsplus.org.uk/grandparenting-in-europe-the-health-and-wellbeing-of-grandparents-caring-for-grandchildren
 
Description Our findings have been used to inform both policies (e.g. proposals in the Labour party's women's manifesto) and practice (the introduction of new questions created by our team on grandparenting to be included in a nationally representative survey of older people in England). More details are presented below. Our findings have filled a vital gap in knowledge about the impact of providing care. For the first time, we demonstrated a clear benefit for grandparents of providing childcare. Previously there had been much debate about whether providing childcare might be harmful, or have no effect. Our launch event was held in October 2014 in Westminster. The event was well attended by representatives from academic, third sector and policy spheres including those from Age UK, Family and Childcare Trust, Relate, National Childcare Trust, the Trade Union Congress, Age International and the Department of Work and Pensions. Findings were also shared with organisations in the family sector including Working Families, Fawcett Society and Gingerbread. A blog was also written for the social media site Gransnet: http://www.gransnet.com/blogs/grandparents-and-childcare-crisis. Our partner, Grandparents Plus, used the findings to influence the election manifestos of the three main political parties in the course of the general election in 2014. Grandparents Plus held round table discussions with MPs from these three parties, and drew on evidence from the project in these discussions. This work culminated in the deputy Labour leader announcing in their women's manifesto that the party proposed consulting on making it possible for parental leave to be transferable to a grandparent http://www.labour.org.uk/blog/entry/labours-manifesto-for-women. This was reported in the media http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-2015-32322677. The clinical director for mental health 31 May 2015 picked up on our finding in a Tweet, a sign that findings from our research are getting through to policy makers: "Geraldine Strathdee ?@DrG_NHS Gr8 grandparenting is good for the happiness & #mentalhealth of grandmas, grandpas & grandkids?" Our research findings have continued to inform communications with government departments, ministers and political parties following the election of the new government, and continue to shape the future policy work of GrandparentsPlus - our partner organisation. In addition, we were approached by those in charge of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing, a nationally representative study of people aged 50 and over, for our expertise on questions about grandparenting to be included in the study's future waves. This led to the formulation by my team of a new series of questions on grandparents. These new questions will now be included in Wave 8 of ELSA. Our novel questions will provide new insights into the role of grandparents in family life in England- a critical issue given increasing pressures on older people to engage in both paid work and care in later life. Currently no information is collected on grandparents in England that enable us to answer the many pressing questions about the frequency, intensity and periodicity of grandparental childcare and to make international comparisons.
First Year Of Impact 2014
Sector Communities and Social Services/Policy,Healthcare
Impact Types Societal,Policy & public services

 
Description Inclusion of grandparent questions we designed based on our resarch to be included in future waves of ELSA, nationally representative sample of older people 50+
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact A series of questions on grandparents that we created and designed, based on our research, will now be included in a future wave of a nationally representative survey of older people in England (ELSA). The inclusion of these novel questions will be able to provide with new insights into the role of grandparents in family life - a critical issue given increasing pressures on older people to both work and care in later life. Currently no detailed information is collected on grandparents in England that would enable international comparisons.
 
Description Influence Labour's women's manifesto in 2014 election to include parental leave to be transferable to a grandparent
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Implementation circular/rapid advice/letter to e.g. Ministry of Health
URL http://www.labour.org.uk/blog/entry/labours-manifesto-for-women
 
Description Internal Funding Scheme, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Awarded to Prof. Giulia Cavrini (PI)
Amount € 95,100 (EUR)
Organisation Free University of Bozen-Bolzano 
Sector Academic/University
Country Italy
Start 11/2015 
End 11/2018
 
Description Internal Funding Scheme, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, I Workshop on Intergenerational Relationship
Amount € 5,000 (EUR)
Organisation Free University of Bozen-Bolzano 
Sector Academic/University
Country Italy
Start 09/2015 
End 09/2015
 
Description Internal Funding Scheme, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, II Workshop on Intergenerational Relationship
Amount € 5,000 (EUR)
Organisation Free University of Bozen-Bolzano 
Sector Academic/University
Country Italy
Start 10/2016 
End 10/2016
 
Description Internal Funding Scheme, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, III Workshop on Intergenerational Relationship I
Amount € 5,000 (EUR)
Organisation Free University of Bozen-Bolzano 
Sector Academic/University
Country Italy
Start 10/2017 
End 10/2017
 
Description Beth Johnson Foundation 
Organisation Beth Johnson Foundation
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution The Foundation participated in dissemination and impact activities.
Collaborator Contribution The Foundation participated in dissemination and impact activities.
Impact Press release and report is listed in the relevant section.
Start Year 2013
 
Description Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation 
Organisation Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution In this project the Gulbenkian Foundation participated in dissemination and impact of the research. The funding listed above was for a previous project looking at variations in grandparental childcare across Europe (which started in 2009-10).
Collaborator Contribution The Gulbenkian Foundation has supported our earlier project on grandparents that led on to this work. In this work they participated in dissemination and impact activies.
Impact The press release and report are listed in other outputs.
Start Year 2013
 
Description Grandparents Plus 
Organisation Grandparents Plus
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Grandparents Plus has led the project's dissemination activities and have received ESRC funding through us.
Collaborator Contribution The organisation has led our research dissemination and impact strategy.
Impact We have issued a report and press release through Grandparents Plus that is associated with this project. These outputs are listed under the Publications and Engagement sections.
Start Year 2013
 
Description 1. Di Gessa, G., Glaser, K. and Tinker, A. 2014. 'Grandparenting and health in Europe: a longitudinal analysis'. Presentation at the British Society for Population Studies Annual Conference, Winchester, UK, 8-10 September. See presentation. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Talk sparked questions and discussion afterwards.

After my talk, there was considerable interest in the subject.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.grandparentsplus.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Di-Gessa-BSPS-2014.pptx
 
Description 10. Glaser, K., Di Gessa, G. and Tinker, A. 2013. What is the impact on grandparents of their caring responsibilities? Poster for ESRC Secondary Data Analysis Initiative, British Library, London 6-7 June. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Poster informed audience of research project which had just started.

Audience members were informed regarding the key aims of the research project
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
URL http://www.grandparentsplus.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/SDAI-Poster-6-7-June-2013.pdf
 
Description 11. Tinker, A. 2013. 'Grandparents in Europe'. Presentation at the Australian Association of Gerontology, South Australia Branch, Adelaide, Australia, 28 May. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Talk spared questions and discussion regarding impact of grandparental involvement in childcare on ehalth

After talk people expressed considerable interest in reasearch.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
URL http://www.grandparentsplus.org.uk/health-impacts-of-caring
 
Description 14 October 2014 - "Caring for Grandchildren is Good for your health: new research" 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Press release to media

Direct impact not yet clear
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.grandparentsplus.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Caring-for-grandchildren-is-good-for-y...
 
Description 2. Di Gessa, G., Glaser, K. and Tinker, A. 2014. 'The Health of grandparents caring for their grandchildren: the role of early and mid-life conditions, Presentation at the symposium, 'Harnessing the power of secondary data analysis: insights from the " 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Talked spared questions and discussion regarding the method of analysis and the way the key outcome variable was operationalised.

After my presentation, there was considerable discussion about the methods and the results.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.grandparentsplus.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Di-Gessa-Glaser-BSG-Southampton-2014.p...
 
Description 3 - 4 October 2016. Di Gessa, G. & Glaser, K. presented paper at II South Tyrol Workshop on Le Relazioni Intergenerazionali Brixen, Brixen, Italy: 'Data needs for grandparenting' 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact International conference involving group of experts to discuss future directions for research on grandparents. Influenced decision about which information to collect for an Italian survey on grandparents and also a special issue of an academic journal.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description 3. Di Gessa, G., Glaser, K. and Tinker, A. 2014. 'The health of grandparents caring for their grandchildren: The role of early and mid-life conditions', Presentation at the European Population Conference, Budapest, Hungary, 25-28 June. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation paper presentation
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Talk sparked debate and discussion on US-Europe comparisons.

After my talk I received additional requests for information from other academics.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://epc2014.princeton.edu/abstracts/140460
 
Description 4. Di Gessa, G., Glaser, K. and Tinker, A. 2014. 'The health of grandparents caring for their grandchildren: The role of early and mid-life conditions', Annual International Conference on Demography and Population, Athens, Greece, 16-19 June. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation paper presentation
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Talk sparked questions and discussion.

After the talk there was significant interest in the subject matter.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.grandparentsplus.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/athens-June-2014-di-Gessa-grandparent-...
 
Description 5. Di Gessa, G., Glaser, K. and Tinker, A. 2014. 'The health of grandparents caring for their grandchildren: The role of early and mid-life conditions'. Presentation at the ESRC Centre for Population Change Seminar Series, Edinburgh, UK, 8 May. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Talk spared questions and discussion.

A lively discussion followed the talk.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.cpc.ac.uk/seminars/?link=home.php&id=136
 
Description 6. Glaser, K. (2014). Discussant for Session 113: Grandparents and Demographic Change, Population Association of America Annual Meeting, Boston, MA, 1-3 May 2014. See more details and abstracts (link to http://paa2014.princeton.edu/sessions/113). 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation workshop facilitator
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Talk spared significant discussion about cross-national differences in grandparenting.

My talk led to considerable discussion from the audience.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description 7. Glaser, K., Di Gessa, G. and Tinker, A. 2014. The health of grandparents caring for their grandchildren: The role of early and mid-life conditions. Policy Briefing, January. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Policy brief widely disseminated and available on partner website (Grandparents Plus)

Direct impact of policy brief not clear.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.ageuk.org/Documents/EN-GB/For-professionals/Research/Grandparents.pdf?dtrk=true
 
Description 8. Glaser, K., Di Gessa, G. and Tinker, A. 2014. The health of grandparents caring for their grandchildren: the role of early and mid-life conditions. Age UK Showcase Event, ESRC Secondary Data Analysis Initiative, London, 29 January. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Talk spared interest on the relationship between caring roles and health

My presentation resulted in increasing awareness of potential impacts of increasing involvement of grandparents in grandchild care on health.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.grandparentsplus.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Presentation-for-Age-UK-ESRC-seminar-J...
 
Description 9. Glaser, K., Di Gessa, G. and Tinker, A. 2013. What is the impact on grandparents of their caring responsibilities? ESRC Secondary Data Analysis Initiative, British Library, London 6-7 June. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Presentation sparked interest about the project which had just started.

Audience members became aware of research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
URL http://www.grandparentsplus.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Presentation-on-research-aims-and-obje...
 
Description Di Gessa, Glaser, K. and Tinker, A. 1. Di Gessa, G., Glaser, K. and Tinker, A. 2014. 'The Health of grandparents caring for their grandchildren: the role of early and mid-life conditions', Presentation at the 'Symposium on Grandparents as Family Watchd 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation keynote/invited speaker
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Talk sparked considerable discussion about the differences between the US and Europe in the health impacts of grandparent care and the differences with kinship care.

After my talk I received further requests for information about our work on grandparents and was asked for the report of the studies findings which are available on the Grandparents Plus website.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL https://www.geron.org/images/gsa/2014asm/gsa2014programbook.pdf
 
Description Glaser, K., Di Gessa, G. and Tinker, A. 2014. 'The health impacts of caring for grandchildren.' Presentation at End of Project Event, Mary Sumner House, London, 14 October 2014. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Talk sparked considerable debate about best way to support grandparents with considerable childcare responsibilities.

After my talk there was considerable debate about policies to support grandparent care and kinship care in particular.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Glaser, K., Di Gessa, G., Tinker, A. (2017) 'The health and wellbeing of grandparents caring for their grandchildren'. Presented at the 5th International Longevity Forum, Bradesco Seguros, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil (October 19-20). 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Glaser, K., Di Gessa, G., Tinker, A. (2017) 'The health and wellbeing of grandparents caring for their grandchildren'. Presented at the 5th International Longevity Forum, Bradesco Seguros, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil (October 19-20). The event was organised by the ILC-Brazil, a think tank active in strategic issues relating to longevity and population ageing. The presentation was to a mixed audience of the general public, industry (a key partner was Bradesco Seguros in Brazil), policy makers and NGOs. The event raised awareness of ageing issues and policy from an international perspective. Communication was in Portuguese, English, and Spanish.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://ilcbrazil.org/news/5thinternationallongevityforum/
 
Description Meeting with Clare Littleford and Margaret Blake, of NatCen Social Research on including grandparent questions we designed on the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing, nationally representative sample of older people 50+, 10 May 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact We were approached by Professor Andrew Steptoe, Director of the Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care, University College London, and leader of the research group at UCL on the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA), for our expertise on questions about Intergenerational transfers and grandparenting to be included in future waves of this nationally representative study of people aged 50 and over. This led to the formulation by my team of a series of new questions on grandparents drawing on our research. I then met with Clare Littleford and Margaret Blake, of the NatCen Social Research which carries out the fieldwork for the ELSA study, to discuss the inclusion of our questions on the 10th of May 2015. Following subsequent discussions and revisions to the questions (also with Professor James Nazroo, Univeristy of Manchester) the new grandparent questions arising from our work will be included in Wave 8 of the ELSA study.

A new series of questions on grandparents that we created and designed, drawing on our research, will are to be included in a future wave of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA). The inclusion of these novel questions will provide us with new insights into the role of grandparents in family life - a critical issue given increasing pressures on older people to both work and care. Currently no detailed information is collected on grandparents in England that would enable us to assess the extent of grandparental involvement in family life and to make international comparisons with other international longitudinal studies such as the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Poster on Impact Caring Responsibilities on Grandparents' Health for the Secondary Data Analysis Initative Showcase 29th February 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact The event organised by the ESRC was held to showcase projects funded under the Secondary Data Analysis Initiative (SDAI) to government policymakers. It was designed to display the potential of the SDAI to policymakers to further increase their engagement with it.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description S• Di Gessa, Glaser, K., and Tinker, A. Socio-economic inequalities and health among grandparents: a life-course approach. Presentation at Scientific Meeting of the Italian Statistical Society, Treviso, Italy, September 9-11, 2015. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation keynote/invited speaker
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact The talk sparked considerable interest and discussion afterwards.

After my talk there was a greater interest in, and understanding of, the impact of lifecourse factors and the role of grandparental childcare on health and wellbeing.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Tinker, A. 2013. 'What is the impact of grandparents of their caring responsibilities'? Presentation at the Grandparenting in Europe: End of Project Conference, Europe House, Westminster, London, 15 March 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Presentation sparked debate about potential impact on health of grandparents' increasing involvement in grandchild care.



Resulted in debate about potential health impacts of increasing family roles.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
URL http://www.grandparentsplus.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/GPlus-Policy-Seminar-Tinker-Glaser-EU-...
 
Description • Di Gessa, Glaser, K., and Tinker, A. Grandparenting in Europe and the health impacts of caring for grandchildren, Presentation at the International Workshop on Grandparents, University of Brixen, Bolsano, Italy, 15 September 2015. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation keynote/invited speaker
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Our talk sparked considerable interest in the impacts of grandparental childcare on health in Europe.

Our research on grandparents in Europe has led to the creation of an international network on Grandparenting in Europe lead by Giulia Cavrini at the University of Brixen and Cecilia Tomassini, University of Bolsano. Prior to our work on grandparenting, there was little research activity in this area in other European countries like Italy. Our research has led to two research proposals (one funded and one awaiting the outcome) on grandparents in Italy. After the workshop we submitted a prospos
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description • Glaser, K., Di Gessa, G. and Tinker, A. 'The health and wellbeing of grandparents caring for their grandchildren'. Presentation at the Social Science, Health & Medicine Seminar Series, King's College London, London, March 25, 2015. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation paper presentation
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact The talk generated greater understanding of the role of grandparents in family life and sparked an interesting discussion about why grandparental childcare appears to be benefical for health in Europe.

After this talk my peers and colleagues had a greater awareness of one of the key issues in family care and its importance.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.kcl.ac.uk/sspp/departments/sshm/eventsrecords/RSS-Grandparenting.aspx
 
Description • Glaser, K., Di Gessa, G. and Tinker, A. The health of grandparents caring for their grandchildren: The role of early and mid-life conditions. Presentation at IAGG European Region Congress, Dublin,Ireland, Unlocking the Demographic Divide, April 23-26. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation keynote/invited speaker
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact My talk sparked interest in an international research collaboration with colleagues at the Vrjie University of Amsterdam and at the German Centre of Gerontology in Berlin, Germany.

After my talk resulted in greater understanding of the impact of grandparental childcare on health in Europe.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015