Study looks at im­pact of child­care on el­derly im­mi­grants

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - LIFE - By ME­LANIE PE­TERS

Car­ing for grand­chil­dren may be ben­e­fi­cial for men­tal health, but only if care­giv­ing re­spon­si­bil­i­ties are not bur­den­some to the el­derly, a study on Chi­nese im­mi­grants liv­ing in Amer­ica has found.

Re­search from the on­go­ing Pop­u­la­tion Study of Chi­nese El­derly (PINE), in Chicago, was car­ried in the re­cent The Jour­nal of Geron­tol­ogy: Med­i­cal Sciences Vol­ume 72:S1.

Re­searchers doc­tors Man Guo, Ling Xu, and Xin Qi­dong from the PINE study in­ter­viewed more than 3000 el­derly Chi­nese im­mi­grants liv­ing in the US.

They ex­am­ined fac­tors such as fam­ily con­flicts, and the as­so­ci­a­tion be­tween grand­chil­dren care­giv­ing, fil­ial dis­crep­ancy, and de­pres­sion.

The study found that fam­ily re­la­tion­ships may both ben­e­fit and harm the men­tal health among el­derly Chi­nese.

The study said Chi­nese pop­u­la­tions con­sider fam­ily as the ma­jor source of pro­tec­tion against hard­ships, such as im­mi­gra­tion. “Adult chil­dren ful­fill­ing fil­ial obli­ga­tions and grand­par­ents pro­vid­ing care for grand­chil­dren are tra­di­tional ways to strengthen the fam­ily con­nec­tions within Chi­nese fam­i­lies.”

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