Guglani, Sacha, Coleman, Peter G. and Sonuga-Barke, Edmund J.S.
Mental health of elderly Asians in Britain: a comparison of Hindus from nuclear and extended families of differing cultural identity
International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 15, (11), . (doi:10.1002/1099-1166(200011)15:11<1046::AID-GPS229>3.0.CO;2-C).
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Objective. To compare the psychological adjustment of grandmothers from nuclear and extended families within British Hindu communities, and to investigate the influence of cultural identity.
Design. Interviews were carried out with Hindu grandmothers, mothers and granddaughters living in both nuclear and extended families.
Setting. The sample was drawn from the total population of Asian Hindu girls aged between 13 and 17 years at four comprehensive schools in the London Borough of Redbridge.
Participants. The final sample consisted of 36 and 34 sets of individuals in extended and nuclear families, respectively.
Measures. Questionnaire measures were obtained of the following variables: cultural integrity, traditionalism, religious participation, ethnic identity, anxiety, depression, self-esteem.
Results. Grandmothers were better adjusted in extended families than in nuclear families. This adjustment was in part mediated by the level of traditional belief within the family. Elders whose granddaughters had an exclusively Indian or Hindu ethnic identity were better adjusted than those whose granddaughters included a British ethnic identity.
Conclusions. This study confirmed findings from earlier studies that grandmothers in extended families were significantly better adjusted in comparison to those from nuclear families. Ethnic identity of the adolescent, independent of its salience and commitment to the adolescent, had a significant relationship to the grandmother's mental health.
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