“People who have reached age 65 with living parents are more likely to suffer depressive symptoms than their peers whose parents have died, according to new research by Rutgers sociologist Deborah Carr.
In addition, adult children who may have been abused or neglected by their parents are especially vulnerable to depressive symptoms, both when at least one parent is alive, and when a parent dies.
‘Older adults adjust fairly well to the death of a parent, especially a parent who lived a full life,’ says Carr, a professor of sociology in the School of Arts and Sciences. ‘But that’s if they had a close, warm, supportive relationship with the parent. But if they had a difficult childhood and were neglected emotionally, they have a much tougher time, both when the parent is alive and when the parent dies.'”
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