The relationships between child care participation of grandparents and their life satisfaction among different age groups

Recent years have seen a range of studies emerging to reflect on growth and development in later period of life despite increased experience of the "new risks," the risks that were not seriously considered in the past. These include limited familial support due to non-existence of extended families, rising proportion of dual-income families, increased number of disruptive family events such as an adult child's addiction, incarceration, or death (Goodman, 2003; Waldrop & Weber, 2001), and lengthened life expectancy.

This study is particularly interested in the well-beings of grandparents who provide child care to their grandchildren and describes how the grandparents' life satisfaction levels differ according to their age groups. The circumstances faced by grandparents who voluntarily or involuntarily become caregivers for their grandchildren are complex. Since successful feelings of well-being in old age are considered to be important (Neuhaus & Neuhaus, 1982) in this rapidly growing aging society, we are determined to investigate the potential strain as well as personal growth and enrichment of this vulnerable population in rearing grandchildren.

Previous studies were either studies based on small non-representative samples (Jendrek, 1993; Kelch-Oliver, 2011; Waldrop & Weber, 2001) or focused on a specific diagnosis as an outcome of care experience (Minkler, et al., 1997). The analyses of this study rely on panel data from the Korean Longitudinal Study of Ageing (KLoSA), Waves 1 and 2 that were collected in 2006 and 2008. The survey was conducted in households with respondents who were 45-year-old and older in Korea. Life satisfaction was measured using a combination of subjective life satisfaction questions in regards to relationships, economic status, leisure, and health. Multiple regression analysis is used to identify the effects of child care responsibility on grandparents' psychological well-being and life satisfaction between age groups.