J Korean Geriatr Psychiatry.  2019 Nov;23(2):87-92. 10.0000/jkgp.2019.23.2.87.

Frequency of Contact with Non-Cohabitating Grandchildren and Risk of Depression in Elderly : A Community-Based 3-Year Longitudinal Study in Korea

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon, Korea. antiaging@ajou.ac.kr


Our study aimed to assess longitudinal association of frequency of contact with non-cohabitating grandchildren and risk of depression in elderly.
Elderly were included from Living Profiles of Older People Survey in Korea who met inclusion criteria.(n=5,479) We defined infrequent contact with grandchildren as <1 time per month face to face contact or <1 time per week phone contact. Depression was measured at baseline survey and follow up survey, 3 years after, using the Korean version of 15-item Geriatric Depression Scales. We measured longitudinal associations between frequency of contact at baseline and geriatric depression at follow up.
In adjusted model, elderly with infrequent phone contact with grandchildren had adjusted odds ratio (OR) of 1.30 [confidence interval (CI) 1.08–1.57] when compared with elderly with frequent phone contact. Elderlies with infrequent face-toface contact with grandchildren had adjusted OR of 1.06 (95% CI 0.91–1.25) when compared with elderly with frequent face-toface contact. Interaction between infrequent phone contact and infrequent face-to-face contact was not significant.
This result proposes that the risk of subsequent depression in elderly is associated with frequency of phone contact with non-cohabitating grandchildren at baseline.


Depression; Frequency of contact; Face-to-face contact; Phone contact; Elderly; Grandchildren
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