Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Emigration of children to urban areas can protect parents against depression

Date:
December 3, 2012
Source:
King's College London
Summary:
Parents whose children move far away from home are less likely to become depressed than parents with children living nearby, according to a new study of rural districts in Thailand. The study suggests that children who migrate to urban areas are more likely to financially support their parents, which may be a factor for lower levels of depression.

Parents whose children move far away from home are less likely to become depressed than parents with children living nearby, according to a new study of rural districts in Thailand. The study, led by scientists at King's College London, suggests that children who migrate to urban areas are more likely to financially support their parents, which may be a factor for lower levels of depression.

Related Articles


Dr Melanie Abas, lead author from the Institute of Psychiatry at King's said: 'Parents whose children had all left the district were half as likely to be depressed as parents who still had one of more child living in the district. Although our study was conducted in Thailand, the findings are similar to previous studies in China.'

In Thailand traditionally children take responsibility for aging parents. Local concerns that rising rates of rural-urban migration across South East Asia might have a negative impact on families and that older parents might experience loneliness, isolation and depression, have now been debunked by this research led by King's .

Protection against 'empty-nest syndrome'

The authors explain that parents can protect themselves from the so-called empty-nest syndrome. Dr Abas said: 'We found several protective factors against the empty-nest syndrome, some similar to those we see in the UK and US. Living in close-knit communities, seeing their children regularly at family gatherings or holidays and the feeling that they had succeeded as parents by having a self-sufficient child living and working in the city all helped against the empty-nest syndrome.'

However, one of the key protective factors -- unique to lower and middle income countries -- is the effect of children sending money home. 'In a country with a less developed welfare system, this makes an important difference to older parents' lives', Abas says.

In collaboration with the Mahidol University and Thammasat University, both in Thailand, researchers from King's studied nearly 1,000 parents aged 60 or over from 100 villages in rural Thailand to understand the effect of child migration on parents' depression.

Around 27 percent of the parents who had at least one child living close by -- within the district -- usually more than 100 kilometres away, had a depression, compared to 16 percent of those with all children living far from home -- outside the district. One year later, 24 percent of parents with at least one child living within the district had a depression, compared to 9 percent of those with all children living outside the district.

Rates of depression varied as children moved out and back in to the district: 33 percent of those who had a child move back to the district were depressed compared to 20 percent of those who did not experience any child movement during the follow-up year.

Dr Sureeporn Punpuing, co-author from the Mahidol Univerity in Thailand explained: 'We found that there were two main reasons children returned home. Children either returned home because something had gone wrong in their own lives, such as divorce or job loss, adding to parents worries or because of their parents' declining mental or physical health.'


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by King's College London. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Abas, M. et al. Migration of children and impact on depression in older parents in rural Thailand, South East Asia. Archives of General Psychiatry, December 2012

Cite This Page:

King's College London. "Emigration of children to urban areas can protect parents against depression." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 December 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121203163528.htm>.
King's College London. (2012, December 3). Emigration of children to urban areas can protect parents against depression. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121203163528.htm
King's College London. "Emigration of children to urban areas can protect parents against depression." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121203163528.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Studying Effects of Music on Dementia Patients

Studying Effects of Music on Dementia Patients

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is studying the popular Music and Memory program to see if music, which helps improve the mood of Alzheimer's patients, can also reduce the use of prescription drugs for those suffering from dementia. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Techy Tots Are Forefront of London's Baby Show

Techy Tots Are Forefront of London's Baby Show

AP (Oct. 28, 2014) Moms and Dads get a more hands-on approach to parenting with tech-centric products for raising their little ones. (Oct. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cocoa Could Be As Good For Memory As It Is For A Sweet Tooth

Cocoa Could Be As Good For Memory As It Is For A Sweet Tooth

Newsy (Oct. 27, 2014) Researchers have come up with another reason why dark chocolate is good for your health. A substance in the treat can reportedly help with memory. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Five-Year-Olds Learn Coding as Britain Eyes Digital Future

Five-Year-Olds Learn Coding as Britain Eyes Digital Future

AFP (Oct. 27, 2014) Coding has become compulsory for children as young as five in schools across the UK. Making it the first major world economy to overhaul its IT teaching and put programming at its core. Duration: 02:19 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins