You Can't Have Your Cake and Eat It Too: Does Grandparenting Reduce the Engagement in Social Activities?

Bruno Arpino, Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Valeria Bordone, Wittgenstein Centre (IIASA, VID/ÖAW, WU)

The positive effects of participation in social activities have been studied in political science, gerontology and sociology. Against the background of rapid population ageing, social integration among the elderly is of particular relevance within the framework of successful ageing. It remains less explored whether the relationship between kin and non-kin social activities is characterised by complementarity or substitution. Due to the unprecedented grandparent-(grand)child overlapping length of life, the role of grandparents has become central in economics, sociology and psychology. Grandparenting may stimulate or on the contrary impose time and energy constraints on social participation. This study aims at assessing the effect of providing childcare on a regular basis on the participation in social activities among elderly, using an instrumental variable approach on data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe The results of this study contribute to the debate on active ageing.

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Presented in Session 113: Grandparents and Demographic Change