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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(5), 463; doi:10.3390/ijerph14050463

Does an Empty Nest Affect Elders’ Health? Empirical Evidence from China

1
School of Social Development and Public Policy, China Institute of Health, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
2
School of Humanities and Social Sciences, North China Electric Power University, Baoding 071000, China
These authors contribute equally to this work.
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Marcia G. Ory and Matthew Lee Smith
Received: 3 January 2017 / Revised: 23 March 2017 / Accepted: 24 March 2017 / Published: 27 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aging and Health Promotion)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [357 KB, uploaded 27 April 2017]

Abstract

The “empty-nest” elderly family has become increasingly prevalent among old people in China. This study aimed to explore the causality between empty nests and elders’ health using effective instrumental variables, including “whether old parents talk with their families when they are upset” and “ownership of housing”. The results showed that empty nests had a significantly adverse influence on elders’ physical health, cognitive ability and psychological health. Furthermore, urban elders’ cognitive ability was more influenced by empty nests than that of rural elders. Additionally, the effects of an empty nest on elders” health were more significant among female, single elders and senior rural elders. “Living resources”, “availability of medical treatment” and “social activity engagement” were found to be significant mediators between empty nests and elders’ health, accounting for 35% of the total effect. View Full-Text
Keywords: empty nest; overall health; instrumental variable; limited-information maximum likelihood model (LIML); 2 stage least squares (2SLS) empty nest; overall health; instrumental variable; limited-information maximum likelihood model (LIML); 2 stage least squares (2SLS)
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Gao, M.; Li, Y.; Zhang, S.; Gu, L.; Zhang, J.; Li, Z.; Zhang, W.; Tian, D. Does an Empty Nest Affect Elders’ Health? Empirical Evidence from China. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 463.

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