Table 1

Characteristics stratified according to whether or not grandparent cares for grandchildren (analytical sample: n=3849)

Care for grandchildren (N=1125)Do not care for grandchildren (N=2724)P value
N/mean%/(SD)N/mean%/(SD)t-test/χ2
Gender: female61854.9%135349.7%<0.001
Age in years65.97.470.99.1<0.001
Marital status: married and living together with spouse124379.9%276668.0%<0.001
Monthly net equivalent income in Euros1932.11541.01746.71134.2<0.001
Body mass index27.34.927.24.40.617
Physical activity<0.001
 Daily1409.0%3709.1%
 Multiple times a week40426.0%85020.9%
 Once a week28818.5%69317.0%
 1–3 times a month1278.2%2305.6%
 Less frequently21113.6%40710.0%
 Never38724.9%152737.5%
Self-rated health (1=very good to 5=very bad)2.50.82.60.80.005
Number of physical illnesses (0–11)2.71.83.01.9<0.001
Depressive symptoms6.65.76.76.00.558
Social isolation1.60.61.60.60.005
Loneliness1.70.51.80.50.003
Number of important people in regular contact6.02.64.82.7<0.001
  • Social isolation was measured using a scale by Bude and Lantermann (2006); values range from 1 to 4, with higher values reflecting higher perceived social isolation. Loneliness was measured using a short version (Gierveld and Van Tilburg, 2006) of the De Jong Gierveld Loneliness Scale (Gierveld and Kamphuls, 1985); values range from 1 to 4, with higher values reflecting higher perceived loneliness. Number of important people in regular contact ranges between 0 and 9. Depressive symptoms measured using the Centre for Epidemiological Depression Scale (CES-D) comprising 15 items (scores range from 0 to 45; higher scores refer to more severe depressive symptoms).