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Aging Ment Health. 2006 Jan;10(1):19-26.

Relationship between adherence to tradition and depression in Chinese elders in China.

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1
College of Social Work, The Ohio State University, Columbus 43210-1162, USA. mjelde-mossey.1@osu.edu

Abstract

This study examined the relationship between adherence to tradition and depression in a large sample (N = 1502) of Chinese elders living in the People's Republic of China. In Chinese traditional culture, an elder's purpose, meaning and self-worth are derived, in large, from their social roles within the family and community. As the traditional culture declines so do these familiar roles, supports, and ways of coping. This constitutes a major loss which can have a variety of psychosocial consequences, one of which could be depression. The elders in our study responded to a nine-item measure of traditional mutual aid and intergenerational exchange. Depression was measured by the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale. Regression analysis found a significant and negative relationship between tradition and depression which suggests that adherence to tradition may have protective benefits. These findings have application with elders in China as well as with those who are immigrants to other societies.

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PMID:
16338810
DOI:
10.1080/13607860500308017
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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