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Clinical Medicine Insights: Psychiatry

Association of Parental Psychiatric Morbidity with their Altruistic Behaviors and Sense of Obligation to Children in the United States

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Clinical Medicine Insights: Psychiatry 2008:1 25-35

Published on 21 Jul 2008


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Takeo Fujiwara1 and Cynthia Lee2

1Department of Health Promotion and Research, National Institute of Public Health, Saitama, Japan. 2Department of Psychology, University of Victoria, BC, Canada.

Abstract

Previous studies have suggested that altruistic behaviors for children and grandchildren (ABC) have a complex mechanism for psychiatric morbidity among parents and grandparents. The interaction between ABC and sense of obligation to children/grandchildren (SOC) may help to provide a better understanding of the association between ABC and psychiatric morbidity. In this study, we seek to investigate the association between the interaction of ABC and SOC and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and major depression (MD) using a nationally representative sample of middle-aged parents/ grandparents in the United States (N = 2,193). Among women, feeling obligated was associated with MD regardless of ABC status. Among men, having SOC and providing informal assistance or financial support was associated with GAD morbidity. Further research that elucidates the complexity of the interaction of ABC and SOC on psychiatric morbidity among parents/grandparents is needed.



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