Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology

, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 199–217 | Cite as

Elderly suicide risk in family contexts: A critique of the Asian family care model

  • Yow-Hwey Hu
Article

Abstract

The ‘three generation residence’ and children's enormous support for the elderly in Asian countries has been viewed as a cultural asset in current international discourse on elderly care. The study uses suicide rates to challenge this view. The results indicate that suicide data, especially from Taiwan, are consistent with the counter argument that Asian elderly are currently very vulnerable in their socially constructed total dependence on children — actually sons and daughters-in-law. The nature of the culturally and politically produced powerful myth of the three generation family in modern Asian countries is also discussed.

Key Words

Elderly care Asian model Suicide risk 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Bourdieu, P. 1979Outline of a Theory of Practice. London: Cambrige University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Census and Statistics Department 1986 By-Census, Summary Results. Hong Kong: Government Press.Google Scholar
  3. Chen, K. 1986 On the Change of Household Composition in Taiwan. Paper presented at the 1986 annual meeting of American Sociological Association, New York, USA.Google Scholar
  4. Chen, K. 1989 Population Transition and Aging in Taiwan. Paper presented at the Symposium on Aging and Welfare, Taipei (in Chinese).Google Scholar
  5. Chen, S.-H. and T.-Y. Wu 1986 Characteristics of Urbanizational Levels in Taiwan District.Geographical Research 12:287–323 (in Chinese).Google Scholar
  6. Choi, H. 1983 Cultural and Noncultural Factors as Determinants of Caregiver Burden for the Impaired Elderly in South Korea.The Gerontologist 33(1):8–15.Google Scholar
  7. Chou, Y. 1991 A Study of Family Care for the Elderly. InChinese Family in Transition. Chaou, C., ed. pp: 371–380. Hong Kong: Chinese University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Cohen, M.L. 1976.House United, House Divided: The Chinese Family in Taiwan. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Department of Health, ROC 1985Health Statistics. Taipei.Google Scholar
  10. Doty, P. 1985 An Overview of Long-term Care.Health Care Financing Review 6(3): 69–78.Google Scholar
  11. Douglas, J. 1967Social Meanings of Suicide. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Durkheim, E. 1951.Suicide New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  13. Gallin, R. 1986 Mother-in-laws and Daughters-in-law: Intergenerational Relations within the Chinese Family in Taiwan.Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology 1(1):31–49.Google Scholar
  14. Hermalin, A.I. M-C. Chang, H.-S. Lin, M.-L. Lee, and M.B. Ofstedal 1990 Patterns of Support among the Elderly in Taiwan and Their Policy Implications. Presented at the Population Association of American Annual Meeting.Google Scholar
  15. Hsiao, M.H.H. 1984A Study of Welfare for the Elderly: Analysis of Service Networks. Taipei: Executive Yuen, Committee for Development and Evaluation (in Chinese).Google Scholar
  16. Hu, Y.-H. 1990 Economic Development and Mortality Risks for Modern Diseases. National Science Council Project Report NSC 79-0301-H010-01.Google Scholar
  17. Hu, Y.-H. 1991Social Epidemiology Taipei: Chu-Liew (in Chinese).Google Scholar
  18. Hu, Y.-H. 1992. A Study of the Social Construction of Health Care for the Elderly and Gender. NSC Project Report 81-0301-H-010-K1.Google Scholar
  19. Hu, Y.-H. 1994Three Generation Families: Facts and Myths. Taipei: Chu-Liew.Google Scholar
  20. Hu, Y.-H., Lin, Y., and S. Wu 1990 Social Factors and Mortality in Taiwan: Analysis of Six Causes of Death in Small Areas.Journal of Population 13:83–106Google Scholar
  21. Hu, Y.-H., Chou, Y.-J., and N. Bai 1992 Three Generation Family and Alternatives: Attitudes Toward Living Arrangements for the Elderly in Urban and Rural Taiwan. Paper presented in ASA annual meeting, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.Google Scholar
  22. Kleinman, A. 1977 Depression, Somatization, and the New Cross-Cultural Psychiatry.Social Science and Medicine 11:3–10.Google Scholar
  23. Kuang, H. 1991A Study on Living Arrangement and Housing Problems among the Elderly in Taiwan. Taipei: Ministry of Interior.Google Scholar
  24. Lee, Y.-J., W. Parish, and R. Willis 1994 Sons, Daughters, and Intergenerational Support in Taiwan.American Journal of Sociology 99(4):1010–1041.Google Scholar
  25. Macfadyen, D. 1990 Introduction: Health and Social Policy Issues in Aging. InImproving the Health of Older People: A World View Kane, R.L., Evans, J.G. and Macfadyen, D., eds. pp: 616–620 New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  26. Maeda, D. 1990 The Role of the Family in Developed Countries. InImproving the Health of Older People: A World View Kane, R.L., Evans, J.G., and Macfadyen, D., eds. pp: 381–397 New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Ministry of Interior, ROC/1990Report on the Living Conditions of the Elderly in Taiwan Area, Republic of China. Taipei.Google Scholar
  28. Ministry of Interior, ROC 1989Report on Women's Living Conditions in Taiwan Area. Taipei.Google Scholar
  29. Mirzaee, M. 1979 Trends and Determinants of Mortality in Taiwan 1895–1975. Ph.D. dissertation. The University of Pennsylvania.Google Scholar
  30. Ogawa, N. 1990 Economic Factors Affecting the Health of the Elderly. InImproving the Health of Older People: A World View Kane, R.L., Evans, J.G. and Macfadyen, D., eds. pp: 627–645 New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Stengel, E. 1966Suicide and Attempted Suicide. Baltimore: Penguin Books.Google Scholar
  32. Tu, E. J.-C., Liang, J. and S. Li 1989 Mortality Decline and Chinese Family Structure: Implications for Old Age Support.Journal of Gerontology 44(4):157–168.Google Scholar
  33. United Nations 1986Demographic Yearbook. Geneva.Google Scholar
  34. Wolf, M. 1975 Women and Suicide in China. InWomen in Chinese Society M. Wolf and R. Witke, eds. pp. 111–114. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yow-Hwey Hu
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate Institute of Health and Welfare PolicyNational Yang-ming UniversityTaipeiTaiwan ROC

Personalised recommendations