|Alternative Title||The characteristics of inter-generational parenting as well as the mental health of the elders who have lost the only child|
Since family planning was launched as a basic national policy of China in 1982, positive outcomes have been achieved in terms of settling population and development problems over the past three decades. However, a special social group was born against such backdrop—people who have lost the only child. Among these people, there is another special group: elderly people who have lost the only child and have to raise their grandchildren, having to raise their grandchildren under the great grief of losing the only child. In this light, such inter-generational parenting and the mental health of these people has become an issue that has attracted great concerns from the education and public health sector, and needs more attention from all sectors in the society. This thesis, combining qualitative research with quantitative study, has applied such methods as semi-structured interview, participatory observation and questionnaire to probe into the characteristics of inter-generational parenting as well as the mental health of the elders who have lost the only child. This thesis mainly analyzes the major characteristics of such phenomenon, including the cause, types of parenting, consequences and influencing factors. Besides, surveys on the mental health of the elders have also been conducted hand relevant causes have been explored. Two sub-studies are involved in this thesis.
Study 1 aims to explore the major characteristics of inter-generational parenting of the elders who have lost the only child. Semi-structured interviews and participatory observations were conducted for 14 elderly people who have lost the only child from 6 provinces across the country. The results show (1) The causes of inter-generational parenting could be divided into two categories according to the time order of losing the only child. One is having participated in parenting grandchildren before losing the only child and never participating in parenting grandchildren before. The other is having children left to help parenting grandchildren, and having no children left to help parenting grandchildren. (2) The types of inter-generational parenting can be divided into four types: democratic consultation, excessive concern, interdependence, and strict discipline. (3) The consequences of inter-generational parenting can be divided into two categories: positive and negative. Positive consequences include: finding the meaning of life again, getting emotional sustenance, receiving social support, healthy growth of grandchildren and inheriting traditional virtues. Negative consequences include: undermining physical and mental health, increasing economic burden, role conflicts, social exclusion, and underdevelopment of grandchildren. (4) Inter-generational parenting is influenced by such factors as the status quo of the elders who have lost the only child as well as social support.
Study 2 aims to explore the mental health of the elders who have to raise grandchildren after losing the only child and the influencing factors. A post-traumatic stress disorder scale (PCL-5) and a questionnaire on mental health of the elders who have lost the only child were applied against 147 elderly people who are raising grandchildren after losing the only child from 9 provinces across the country. The results show (1) The incidence rate of PTSD among the elders who have lost the only child is 63.9%. The demographic characteristics related to PTSD are: female, low monthly income, suffering from certain disease, having no children left to participate in inter-generational raising, still working after retirement, grandchildren having poor health condition and academic performance. (2) Mental health of these elderly people are relatively poor in such aspects as life satisfaction, depression, anxiety, loneliness, positive emotion and negative emotion. (3) The mental health of elders who have to raise grandchildren after losing the only child is affected by such factors as monthly income, health condition and academic performance of grandchildren, disease, etc.
According to the above results, the following conclusions could be drawn: comparing with the inter-generational parenting of normal families, inter-generational parenting of elderly people losing the only child has its own uniqueness and complexity in terms of causes, parenting types, consequences and influencing factors. The mental health of elderly people who have to raise their grandchildren after losing the only child is relatively poor. Factors in such aspect as the status of elderly people who have lost the only child, the growth of grandchildren and social support would not only exert impact on inter-generational parenting, but also on the mental health of elderly people. In this light, various sectors in the society should provide comprehensive, effective and timely support and assistance for elderly people who have to raise their grandchildren after losing the only child from the above three perspectives.
|Keyword||失独 老年人 隔代养育 特征 心理健康 影响因素|
|Place of Conferral||中国科学院心理研究所|
|陆梭. 失独老年人隔代养育特征及其心理健康[D]. 中国科学院心理研究所. 中国科学院心理研究所,2020.|
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