This study investigates grandmothers’ role in the health of their grandchildren. The relationship between child weight status from ages three to nine and grandmothers’ coresidence up to age nine is examined using data from The Fragile Families and Wellbeing Study, a large nationally representative dataset of urban low-income families in the United States. Logistic regression estimates the association between grandmother coresidence and child unhealthy weight status. Analyses adjust for child and mother characteristics, culture, race/ethnicity, SES, parenting practices, and built environment. Children who have ever lived with a grandmother by age three are at increased odds of unhealthy weight at age three, even after controlling for contributing factors. Grandmothers’ influence on weight gain in three year olds appears to fade by age nine. Findings indicate that grandmothers’ presence may present risks for three year olds’ health in situations of coresidence and should be further explored in future research. Explanations for this association are pursued.
McKinney, C. O.
(2015). Early Childhood Overweight and Obesity in Multigenerational Households. GrandFamilies: The Contemporary Journal of Research, Practice and Policy, 2 (1).
Available at: https://scholarworks.wmich.edu/grandfamilies/vol2/iss1/2