The following is excerpted from an online article posted by StudyFinds.
Losing a grandmother may trigger depression among her surviving family members, according to a new Penn State study. Any death in a family is a tragedy, but study authors report a significant correlation between a grandmother passing away and depression.
This appears especially true among adolescent boys. The study states that for up to seven years after the passing of their grandmother, adolescent boys showed a 50 percent increase in depression symptoms in comparison to peers who were not grieving a loss. The loss of a grandma was also linked to a higher chance of both adolescent boys’ and girls’ mothers becoming depressed.
What can we learn from this research? Study authors say it’s important for society to recognize that the loss of a grandma is a serious risk factor for depression – and not just for a few weeks either. This increased risk lasts for years.
According to the research team’s calculations, approximately four million U.S. children and adolescents have lost a grandparent to COVID-19. That’s a major addition to the usual 10-12 million U.S. kids who lose grandparents annually due to other causes.
The study was published in SSM – Mental Health.