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The social and psychological effect of an adult child's emigration on non-immigrant Asian Indian elderly parents

TitleThe social and psychological effect of an adult child's emigration on non-immigrant Asian Indian elderly parents
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2002
AuthorsMiltiades, HB
JournalJ Cross Cult GerontolJ Cross Cult Gerontol
Volume17
Pagination33-55
ISBN Number0169-3816 (Print)<br/>0169-3816 (Linking)
Accession Number14617974
AbstractThe impact of immigration on parents left behind has been largely ignored in the literature. This exploratory study uses cultural specificity theory to examine the effect an adult child's emigration has on the familial support system available to the parents left behind, and on the parent's psychological well-being. Twenty-nine parents (age 55+) in India, who had adult children in the United States, were selected using snowball sampling. Qualitative interviews based on a semi-structured interview schedule were conducted during the fall and winter of 1997. Results show that although most parents do not live in an extended family, they receive support from extended family members. However, the biggest source of daily support comes from hired help. Hired help allows parents to live independently and decreases reliance on informal support systems. Since hired help is relatively inexpensive most parents can substitute help for their children. This does not alleviate feelings of loneliness and depression.