Skip Navigation LinksHome > October 2014 - Volume 21 - Issue 10 > Role of grandparenting in postmenopausal women’s cognitive h...
Menopause:
doi: 10.1097/GME.0000000000000236
Original Articles

Role of grandparenting in postmenopausal women’s cognitive health: results from the Women’s Healthy Aging Project

Burn, Katherine F. BSc(Hons)1; Henderson, Victor W. MD2; Ames, David MD3; Dennerstein, Lorraine PhD, MBBS3; Szoeke, Cassandra PhD, FRACP, MBBS, BSc(Hons)1

Editorial
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Abstract

Objective

Preserving aging cognition improves quality of life and delays dementia onset. Previous studies have shown that social engagement can maintain cognition; however, none has examined the effects of grandparenting, an important role among postmenopausal women. This study aims to examine the role of grandparenting in cognition among postmenopausal women.

Methods

Participants were 186 Australian women from the longitudinal prospective Women’s Healthy Aging Project. Cognition was assessed using the Symbol-Digit Modalities Test (SDMT), California Verbal Learning Test, and Tower of London.

Results

Amount of time spent minding grandchildren predicted differences in SDMT performance (P < 0.01). The highest cognitive scores for most tests were seen in participants who minded grandchildren for 1 day/week. Minding grandchildren for 1 day/week was also a significant positive predictor of California Verbal Learning Test immediate recall performance (P < 0.05). However, minding grandchildren for 5 days or more per week predicted lower SDMT performance (P < 0.05).

Conclusions

The data suggest that the highest cognitive performance is demonstrated by postmenopausal women who spend 1 day/week minding grandchildren; however, minding grandchildren for 5 days or more per week predicts lower working memory performance and processing speed. These results indicate that highly frequent grandparenting predicts lower cognitive performance.

© 2014 by The North American Menopause Society

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