Long and complicated grief is a relevant factor contributing to the deterioration of the older adults’ later life quality. In China, the unintentional consequence of the one child policy has emerged. There, the group of older adults who lost their only child is called shiduers. The current study compared 42 older adults who lost their only child to 33 older adults who have a child, in term of their physical and mental health, and social support. The results confirmed the general deteriorating trend in those aspects of the bereaved Chinese parents’ life after their only child’s death. The results also revealed the impairments on the shiduers’ physical, mental, and social aspects were significant, compared to the clinical diagnosis cutoff points used in Western countries. Unique policy and cultural characteristics are the main factors contributing to the severe impairment of shiduers. Results have implications for policy advocacy and practice intervention in specific cultural environments.
Zheng, Yongqiang; Lawson, Thomas R.; and Anderson Head, Barbara, "“Our Only Child Has Died” – A Study of Bereaved Older Chinese Parents" (2017). Faculty Publications - College of Social Work. 13.