Asian American middle-aged adults' attitudes and mental health after the death of a parent



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The purpose of this exploratory study was to examine the association between the parent-adult child relationship and the impact of parental death among mid-aged Asians in the United States. Attachment theory and intergenerational solidarity theory guided the selection of variables in this study. Middle-aged adults, being often neglected in studies, were the focus of this study in order to investigate depression and psychological well-being after parental death. Asians who were 35 to 65 years of age, considered themselves as Asian Americans, and had experienced parental death between 2000 and 2004 were recruited in the study. On-line structured questionnaires were distributed during July and August of 2004, and 30 completed questionnaires were returned. Respondents completed the following dependent measures: the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D Scale) (Radloff, 1977), Texas Revised Inventory of Grief (Faschingbauer et al., 1987), The Bradburn Affect Balance Scale (Bradburn, 1969), and the Affectual Solidarity Scale (Mangen, Bengtson, & Landry, 1988). The independent variables included the Felt Obligation Measure (Stein, 1992), and the Suinn-Lew Asian Self Identity Acculturation Scale (Suinn, R. M., 1992). By looking at the under-represented ethnic group and the taboo, in terms of death, it was found that the higher acculturated the mid-aged Asian Americans were, the less depression they experienced, but the correlation was not significant. The results also indicated that the more regard and responsibilities the adult children had with their deceased parents, the higher degree of grief they experienced. Contrary to expectation, gender of respondent was not associated with psychological well-being.



Bereavement and grief, Parent-child relationship, Mental health