, Volume 27, Issue 4, pp 305-317

Perceived Family and Friend Support and the Psychological Well-Being of American and Chinese Elderly Persons

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Abstract

This study examines two sources of informal support—perceived family and friend support—and the psychological well-being—self-esteem, depression and loneliness—of 150 Chinese and 145 American elders. There were no significant differences between the elderly American and Chinese persons’ mean scores on family and friend support. The multiple linear regression analyses with interaction terms (country x family support and country x friend support), however, indicated that the relationship between family support and depression and family support and loneliness was stronger for the Chinese elderly than the US elderly. Conversely, the relationship between friend support and depression and friend support and loneliness is stronger for US elderly than Chinese elderly. The implications of these findings for social work practice in both countries is discussed.