Perceived Family Functioning and Depression in Bereaved Parents in China After the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake

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Abstract

This study examined perceived family functioning and depression in bereaved parents 18 months after the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. This was a cross-sectional study with 190 bereaved parents sampled using a multistage stratified sampling method. The instruments used in the study included Family APGAR Index and Hamilton Depression Rating Scale-17. The results indicated that the prevalence of family dysfunction was 59.5%. All the respondents experienced depression with 79.5% of the respondents reporting very severe depression. Being female, being at an advanced age, being divorced or widowed, being directly exposed to the death of their children, not having another baby after the earthquake, and poorer family functioning were significant predictors for more severe depression. Strategies can be designed in post-disaster recovery programs for bereaved parents at high risk for more severe depression, particularly for those with poorer family functioning.

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