ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Traditional Chinese Therapy May Help Ease Eczema
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
Massage Therapy Helps Those With Advanced Cancer
ANIMAL CARE
Beware of Dog Bites
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Safe Toys for Dogs
BONES & JOINTS
Yoga Can Ease Lower Back Pain
Stem Cells Might Treat Tough Fractures
Get in Step With Summer Foot Care
CANCER
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
Low Vitamin D Levels May Initiate Cancer Development
Many Ignore Symptoms of Bladder Trouble
CAREGIVING
Medication Errors Could Be Cut: Experts
Simpler Sleep Apnea Treatment Seems Effective, Affordable
TV Watching Doesn't Fast-Track Baby's Skills
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Review Confirms Links Between Diet, Heart Health
Firefighters Have Narrower-Than-Normal Arteries, Study Finds
Health Tip: Are You Anemic?
COSMETIC
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
DENTAL, ORAL
Gum Care Helps Control Type 2 Diabetes and Its Complications
Mom's Vitamin D Levels Affect Baby's Dental Health
Obesity Boosts Gum Disease Risk
DIABETES
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
Spices, Herbs Boost Health for Diabetics
Exercise Protects Black Women From Type 2 Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
For Fitness, Cutting Calories May Not Be Enough
Healthy Eating While On Vacation
Eating Vegan or Raw-Vegan at Regular Restaurants
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Air Pollution Raises Risk of Heart Disease, Death
Years of Exposure to Traffic Pollution Raises Blood Pressure
Skin Woes Take Toll on U.S. Combat Troops
EYE CARE, VISION
Kids Think Glasses Make Others Look Smart, Honest
Green Tea May Ward Off Eye Disease
Omega-3 Foods May Lower Eye Disease Risk
FITNESS
Super Bowl Loss Can 'Kill' Some Fans
Living With Less TV, More Sweat Boosts Weight Loss
Diet, Exercise May Slow Kidney Disease Progression
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
GENERAL HEALTH
The Brain Comes Alive With the Sounds of Music
Heavy Alcohol Use Linked to Cancer
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Women Who Run May Benefit From Extra Folic Acid
Western Diet Linked To Heart Disease, Metabolic Syndrome
Too-Low Blood Pressure Can Also Bring Danger
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
3 Home Habits Help Youngsters Stay Slim
Quick Orthopedic Repair Can Save Young Shoulders
Exercise During Pregnancy Keeps Newborn Size Normal
MEN'S HEALTH
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
MENTAL HEALTH
Love Hormone May Ease Discussion of Painful Topics
A Simple 'Thank You' Brings Rewards to All
Bullying Seems to Affect Kids Years Later
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
Before Conceiving, Take Folic Acid for One Full Year
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
SENIORS
15-Point Test Gauges Alzheimer's Risk
Exercise Helps Reduce Falls in Young and Old
Older People at Greater Risk of Swine Flu Death
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Occaisonal Dieting May Cut Breast Cancer, Study Says
Simple Carbs Pose Heart Risk for Women
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
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Friends, Not Grandkids, Key to Happy Retirement

It's said that one of the joys of old age is taking pleasure in your grandchildren, but an English research team begs to differ.

An active social life, being married and having a partner who is also retired all make a huge difference in seniors' enjoyment of life, but having children or grandchildren matters little, the University of Greenwich team found in its study of 279 British retirees.

Grandchildren are a source of pride, but there are trade-offs to having them, said lead researcher Oliver Robinson, of the university's department of psychology and counseling.

"There are both benefits and drawbacks to the presence of children and grandchildren in retirement, which balance each other out," Robinson said. "The positives are that having children and grandchildren imparts a sense of purpose and meaning, while the drawback is the frequent commitment for child care that can potentially interfere with the sense of freedom and autonomy that is at the heart of a positive retirement."

Robinson and his team were to report their findings Thursday at the annual conference of the British Psychological Society in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Study participants, who were recruited from a retirement Web site and online newsletter, answered questions about family, friends and their life in retirement. They also completed a scale designed to measure their satisfaction with their lives.

The researchers found no difference in life satisfaction between retirees who have children and grandchildren and those who don't.

But a strong social network tended to have a major positive effect on retirees' enjoyment of life. Seniors with high levels of life satisfaction strongly agreed with the statement, "I have active social groups I enjoy spending time with." Conversely, seniors who aren't enjoying life much strongly agreed with the statement, "I miss the socializing of working life."

"Social groups in retirement, particularly those that revolve around shared interests, can provide a retiree with a number of basic psychological needs -- a sense of connectedness, of purpose, and of mastery if there is a skill involved," Robinson said. "The great retirement trap is loneliness, and active social groups negate the possibility of that."

American retirees have expressed similar sentiments regarding what makes their life most enjoyable, said Rosemary Blieszner, associate dean of the graduate school at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and director of the Center for Gerontology.

"Older adults are very interested in their grandchildren and want them to succeed, but really, I think that most of your happiness and psychological well-being is going to come from your peers," Blieszner said. "For many stages of life, not just old age, people feel like their age peers understand what they're going through and give them that social support that comes from friendship and understanding."

Having a spouse or a longtime partner also matters significantly when it comes to enjoyment of retired life, the British team found. Seniors who are widowed, never married, divorced or separated reported lower levels of life satisfaction than people in long-term relationships.

It also makes a difference whether your partner is retired along with you. The study found that retirees whose spouse or partner is still working enjoyed their life less than those who have been joined in retirement by their partner.

"Those retirement individuals whose partner is not retired miss their work lives more, perhaps because they are unable to fully engage with retirement," Robinson said.

"They are in a kind of limbo state, unable to make plans for long holidays or a substantial change of life until the retirement of their partner happens," he added. "When a couple retire together, they can plan aspirationally together, and help each other adapt to the new life phase."

SOURCES: Oliver Robinson, M.A., M.Sc., Ph.D., University of Greenwich, Department of Psychology and Counseling, London; Rosemary Blieszner, Ph.D., Alumni Distinguished Professor, associate dean, Graduate School, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and associate director, Center for Gerontology, Department of Human Development, Blacksburg, Va.; April, 15, 2010, presentation, British Psychological Society annual conference, Stratford-upon-Avon, England Published on: April 15, 2010