Instrumental support primarily provided by adult children and trajectories of depressive symptoms among older adults with disabilities in rural China

Jianyun Wang, Bei Wu, Yaolin Pei, Renyao Zhong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: This study aimed to examine the trajectories of depressive symptoms over a 5-year period in a sample of community-dwelling older adults with disabilities in rural China, and the association between duration of instrumental support primarily provided by adult children and the trajectories of depressive symptoms. Methods: Data were drawn from three waves of the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (2011–2015). The sample included 1,466 older adults living in rural areas aged 60 and over who had at least one child in all three waves. Duration of instrumental support provided by adult children was measured by the number of waves that older adults received instrumental support primarily from any adult children in the data collection. Growth mixture modelling was used to identify the trajectory classes of depressive symptoms among these older adults, and logistic regression was used to examine the association between duration of instrumental support primarily provided by adult children and the trajectory classes of depressive symptoms. Results: This study identified two distinct trajectories of depressive symptoms among the respondents: high but decreasing levels of symptoms and persistently low levels of symptoms. Respondents who received a longer duration of instrumental support primarily from adult children were more likely to have high but decreasing symptoms after controlling for other covariates. Conclusion: The findings have important implications for promoting the mental health of older adults with disabilities in rural China. There are still very limited long-term care services and programs are available for older adults, particularly in rural China. It is critical to develop these services at both community and institutional levels to meet the care needs of older adults and their families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAging and Mental Health
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • duration of support
  • instrumental support primarily from adult children
  • Older adults with disabilities
  • trajectory of depressive symptoms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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