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Research Article Open Access

Societal Attitudes toward Chinese University Students with a History of Parental Depression and Factors Influencing the Respective Attitudes: A Cross-sectional study

Abstract

Children of depressed parents are at a higher risk of developing psychosocial and somatic impairments during childhood, adolescence, early adulthood, and adult life. Society plays a significant role in precipitating or alleviating depression and other mental ailments in children of depressed parents. However, there is inconclusive evidence regarding the drivers of societal attitudes toward Chinese university students whose parents exhibit a history of depression. This cross-sectional study evaluated perceptions of society toward children of depressed parents through closed-ended questionnaires. The study was conducted across 168 individuals with an age of 50 or more than 50 years old from different provinces of China as well Macau. Fifty closed-ended questions were administered to the participants to evaluate their perception of university students whose parents were depressed. Although the society holds certain preconceptions and prejudice regarding children of depressed parents, such perceptions are often influenced by the social functioning of referred children. For example, extraversion and introversion behaviors exhibited by children of depressed parents contribute to their negative image in society. The negative social attitudes do influence social well-being in children of depressed parents. Likewise, parenting style, peer support, and accessibility to mental health services also influenced societal attitudes toward the concerned stakeholders. Since negative societal attitudes toward children of depressed parents impact their social well-being, society should be sensitive towards them. Hence, society must extend their support so that the respective individuals are able to overcome the impacts of parental depression. The study emphasized the need for psycho education in both parents and children that would moderate their behavior despite the history of parental depression for changing the attitudes of society toward them..

 Jafar Rashidnia1*, Zhang Min1, Shen Heyong1

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