The depression status of empty nesters in eastern rural China

Jingjing Zhou1, Linlin Xiao2, Yicheng Zhou3, Guoqiang Rui3, Xianlin Ni4
1Department of Social Work, Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications, People’s Republic of China
2School of Law, Jiangnan University, People’s Republic of China
3School of Politics and Public Administration, Soochow University, People’s Republic of China
4National Research Base for Civil Affairs Policy and Theory, Nanjing Normal University, People’s Republic of China
Cite this article:  Zhou, J., Xiao, L., Zhou, Y., Rui, G., & Ni, X. (2019). The depression status of empty nesters in eastern rural China. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 47, e7555.

Volume 47 Issue 2 | e7555 | Published: February 2019 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.7555

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We used the Geriatric Depression Scale to investigate the depression status of empty nesters living in eastern rural China (N = 967). The results showed that more than half of the participants suffered relatively severe depression and that their mental health was not favorable. Gender, age, level of education, and marital status had a significant influence on depression status. The degree of depression of men was lower than that of women. As participants’ age increased, the degree of depression first rose until the age of 84 and then fell thereafter. The depression of unmarried empty nesters was relatively severe compared to that of married ones. Finally, a higher level of education corresponded with a lower degree of depression. There are varied factors affecting the psychological status of empty nesters in China. To improve their mental state, the government, society, and family need to collaborate and take comprehensive measures.

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