Section 48
Chapter 47,449

Stress, social support, and psychological distress among the Chinese elderly

Krause, N.; Liang, J.

Journal of Gerontology 48(6): P282-P291


ISSN/ISBN: 0022-1422
PMID: 8228001
DOI: 10.1093/geronj/48.6.p282
Accession: 047448795

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This study examined the relationships among stress, social support, and depressive symptoms with data provided by a large representative sample (N = 2,721) of older adults who live in the People's Republic of China. Many Western investigators believe that elderly people respond to stressful experiences by mobilizing assistance from their significant others. However, recent American studies suggest that this may not always be true, and that when certain stressors arise, older adults may actually receive less support from significant others. The purpose of our study was to evaluate these competing views in a culturally diverse setting. The findings reveal that both perspectives have something to offer and that financial strain (i.e., one kind of stressor) may increase some kinds of assistance (i.e., economic support) at the same time that it erodes other types of support (e.g., emotional support).

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