A new study shows that mothers whose children emigrated during the recession experienced increased depressive symptoms and greater loneliness than mothers whose children did not emigrate.

The report by The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing was led by researchers in Trinity College Dublin.

Researchers found, however, that with the exception of those aged over 65, fathers did not suffer an equivalent decline in mental health following the emigration of one or more of their children.

There were 36,000 people who emigrated from Ireland in the year ending April 2006.

That figure rose to 89,000 in 2013.

Researchers said it was particularly striking that the study did not find evidence that other major events affecting the adult children of these parents, such as the child becoming unemployed, or divorced, had an impact on the mental health of the parent like emigration had.