ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Should Your Child Be Seeing a Chiropractor?
Fish Oil's Benefits Remain Elusive
Higher Vitamin D Intake Could Cut Cancer Risk
ANIMAL CARE
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Beware of Dog Bites
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
Soccer's a Winner for Building Bone Health in Girls
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid Arthritis a Threat to the Heart
CANCER
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
Immune Therapy May Aid Kids With Neuroblastoma
Women Smokers Lose 14.5 Years Off Life Span
CAREGIVING
3 Steps Might Help Stop MRSA's Spread
Weekend Admission May Be Riskier for GI Bleeding
Reduce Suffering, Urge Heart Failure Patients and Caregivers
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Night Shift Work Hard on the Heart
Support Network May Play Role in Benefits of Drinking
Bye, Bye Back Fat?
COSMETIC
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
DENTAL, ORAL
Gum Disease Might Boost Cancer Risk
Mom's Vitamin D Levels Affect Baby's Dental Health
An Oral Approach to Heart Disease
DIABETES
Insulin Resistance Tied to Peripheral Artery Disease
Fructose-Sweetened Drinks Up Metabolic Syndrome Risk
Chamomile Tea May Ward Off Diabetes Damage
DIET, NUTRITION
The Food Irradiation Story
Antioxidants Abound in Cereals, Popcorn, Whole-Grain Snacks
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
As Earth Warms, Lyme Disease Could Flourish
Old-Growth Forests Dying Off in U.S. West
Think You Are Lead-Free? Check Your Soil
EYE CARE, VISION
When Gauging Age, the Eyes Have It
Time Teaches Brain to Recognize Objects
Decorative Halloween Eye Lenses May Pose Serious Risks
FITNESS
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
Basketball Star Details His Struggle With Gout
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
GENERAL HEALTH
A Honey of a Sinusitis Treatment
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Coffee Cuts Liver Scarring in Hepatitis C
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Too-Low Blood Pressure Can Also Bring Danger
Estrogen May Help Men's Hearts
Fewer Heart Attacks After England Goes Smoke-Free
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Too Many Infants Short on Vitamin D
Decline of Underweight Children in U.S. Continue to Fall
Mom and Baby Alike May Benefit From Exercise
MEN'S HEALTH
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
Low Iron Levels Cut Cancer Risk in Men With PAD
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
MENTAL HEALTH
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
The Unmedicated Mind
Teen Internet Addicts More Likely to Self-Harm: Study
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
Before Conceiving, Take Folic Acid for One Full Year
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
SENIORS
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Green Tea May Help Treat Uterine Fibroids
Mom and Baby Alike May Benefit From Exercise
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