Poverty, Perceived Economic Strain, and Psychological Distress Among Thai Older Adults
This study examines the relationships between poverty, defined as having an income below the poverty line, perceived economic strain, and psychological distress among Thai older adults. Data were taken from the 2002 National Elderly Survey in Thailand. The sample included 21,417 men and women aged ≥60 years. Multiple regression models were employed for data analysis and findings revealed that elderly poverty was significantly associated with perceived economic strain and psychological distress. After controlling for sociodemographic and health-related variables, perceived economic strain fully mediated the effect of poverty on psychological distress. Family support had a powerful buffering effect on the relationship between poverty and economic strain, as well as between poverty and psychological distress. Policy and strategies targeted at poverty and economic strain in later life and filial support should be continuously promoted.
KeywordsPsychological Distress Family Support Poverty Line Adult Child Economic Hardship
The author would like to express appreciation to the National Statistical Office, Thailand, for providing data from the 2002 National Survey of the Elderly in Thailand and to Professor W. Jean Yeung and Angelique Chan who provided useful comments on several drafts of this chapter.
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