A profile analysis of post-traumatic stress disorder and depression symptoms among Chinese Shidu parents

European Journal of Psychotraumatology

Buzohre Eli,Yueyue Zhou, Yiming Liang, Lin Fu, Hao Zheng & Zhengkui Liu



Background: Due to the one-child policy implemented in China, most families have only one child. When parents experience the death of their only child, these parents receive the label ‘Shidu parents’. Shidu is a major public health issue in China. However, the patterns of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depressive symptoms that are present in this population remain unclear.

Objective: This study aims to identify profiles of PTSD and depressive symptoms among Shidu parents and to explore the predictors of profile membership.

Methods: A total of 363 participants (Mage = 61.5 years, SD = 7.5) were asked to complete questionnaires assessing PTSD, depressive symptoms, social support, and demographic information. Latent profile analyses and multivariate logistic regressions were used.

Results: Three distinct profiles were identified: low (39.4%), moderate (32.8%), and high symptoms (27.8%). Parents who were younger and reported lower levels of support from family and others were more likely to experience higher levels of PTSD and depressive symptoms.

Conclusions: These results indicate that the severity of PTSD and depressive symptoms tightly cohere, providing evidence for the co-occurrence of PTSD and depressive symptoms after bereavement. The findings provide valuable information for the development of tailored professional interventions for bereaved parents.

Keywords: shidu parents; PTSD; depression; social support; latent profile analysis

Received 25 Dec 2019, Accepted 01 May 2020, Published online: 07 Jul 2020

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