empty-nest syndrome


empty-nest syndrome
Traditionally in Chinese families, adult children live with their elderly parents under the same roof. Chinese people start to experience empty-nest syndrome as a result of social change. Empty-nest syndrome is very peculiar in China in several aspects. First of all, women who experience this are relatively young. Since 1974, when the Chinese government enacted the one-child family policy, Chinese families experienced many changes. One of them is the dominance of the nuclear family in China. As the first generation of the one-child policy come to their adulthood, when they leave home their parents, especially mothers, are in their middle to late forties and early fifties. Women suffer from this earlier than in countries with more children. Second, women in this age group also suffer from a decrease in social status.
Due to the economic reconstruction in China, many workers, especially female workers, are unemployed, or have an early retirement; most of them are between forty and fifty. This makes them feel useless and socially isolated. Third, they may be experiencing the menopause. Fourth, Chinese mothers usually devote their entire lives to their husbands and children. Their sense of success comes from that of their husbands and children (Liu and Cheung 2002). When the only child leaves home for university or marriage, they suddenly feel lonely, sad, useless and depressive. All these social, psycholo gical and biological changes simultaneously worsen women’s wellbeing, making life for them more challenging and tough.
Liu, M. and Cheung, M. (2002). The Indigenization of Women’s Social Work in China’. Xinhua Digest 2:25–30.
LIU MENG

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • empty-nest syndrome — /ɛmpti ˈnɛst sɪndroʊm/ (say emptee nest sindrohm) noun Colloquial depression which affects some parents whose children have all grown up and left home: *Like mothers everywhere, she suffered from empty nest syndrome when he left home in the early …   Australian English dictionary

  • empty nest syndrome — the sad feelings which parents have when their children grow up and leave home. The last of her children had recently moved out and she was suffering from empty nest syndrome …   New idioms dictionary

  • empty nest syndrome — a depressed state felt by some parents after their children have left home. [1970 75] * * * empty nest syndrome, a form of depression supposedly common among women whose children have grown up and left home …   Useful english dictionary

  • empty-nest syndrome — emp·ty nest syndrome em(p) tē nest n the emotional letdown often experienced by a parent whose children have grown up and moved away from home …   Medical dictionary

  • empty-nest syndrome — noun Date: 1972 an emotional letdown often experienced by an empty nester …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • empty nest syndrome — noun a feeling of loneliness or depression experienced by some parents when their children have matured and left home See Also: empty nester …   Wiktionary

  • empty nest syndrome — emp′ty nest′ syn drome n. psl a depressed state felt by some parents after their children have grown up and left home • Etymology: 1970–75 …   From formal English to slang