Childlessness and psychological well-being in Chinese older adults

Kee Lee CHOU, Iris CHI

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

46 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background   Childless older adults will increase rapidly in the coming future due to delayed marriage, infertility, and high divorce rate. We examined whether childlessness is significantly related to loneliness and depression and whether the effect of childlessness persisted even when other factors including gender, marital status, age, education, self‐rated health status and financial strain were controlled for.Method   This article analyzes cross‐sectional data collected from a representative community sample of 2003 Chinese elderly people aged 60 or above in Hong Kong. Respondents were interviewed in face‐to‐face format and data including socio‐demographic variables, health indicators, loneliness and depression were obtained.Result   Logistic regression analyses revealed that childlessness was significantly related to loneliness and depression even after marital status, gender, age, education, self‐reported health status, and financial strain were controlled for.Conclusion   The impact of childlessness on psychological well‐being among elderly Chinese is more robust than that found in older Americans. Moreover, consistent with the findings of previous studies, we found that the effect of childlessness on psychological well‐being has to be investigated in the context of marital status. Therefore, aged care service practitioners must take this risk factor into consideration in their preventive intervention and treatment for psychological well‐being. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)449-457
JournalInternational Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Volume19
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2004

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Loneliness
Marital Status
Depression
Psychology
Health Status
Education
Divorce
Hong Kong
Marriage
Nuclear Family
Infertility
Logistic Models
Regression Analysis
Health
Therapeutics

Bibliographical note

Chou, K.-L., & Chi, I. (2004). Childlessness and psychological well-being in Chinese older adults. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 19(5), 449-457. doi: 10.1002/gps.1111

Keywords

  • Childlessness
  • Depression
  • Loneliness
  • Chinese