Family relations and mental health of unemployed middle-aged Chinese men

Marcus Y L CHIU*, Winnie W.N. Ho

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The over-representation of middle-age men among completed suicides had raised concerns over the mental health issues of unemployed Chinese men. Aims: The relation between family relations and mental health was explored. Method: 190 unemployed men attending the job centres were interviewed with a structured questionnaire. Results: Almost three-quarters (73.2%) of the participants had common mental disturbances as defined by GHQ caseness. Low household income group (OR= 3.47, 95% CI 1.40-8.61) and high emotion families (OR= 10.34, 95% CI 3.55-30.09) were found to have increased risks. Conclusions: There were some indications that worsening family relations and communication might have triggered off a culturally constrained appraisal of man's own role and subsequent mental health disturbances. Implications were discussed with reference to the need of an early coordinated intervention approach that was both gender and culturally sensitive rather than mere occupational retraining.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-203
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Mental Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2006

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

User-Defined Keywords

  • Chinese men
  • Family relations
  • Mental health
  • Middle-age
  • Unemployment


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