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Conference Paper

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We analyze recent aging surveys to examine the prevalence and correlates of widowhood among elderly in Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam and investigate how widowhood is associated with intergenerational support and old-age wellbeing. Widowhood is often associated with depressive symptoms, elevated mortality risk, and social-relationship changes. How one fares after spousal loss is nevertheless contingent on individual-level attributes, dyadic characteristics, and macro-social conditions. Thus, consequences likely vary across contexts. Most studies are conducted in western developed countries. Few existing Asia-focused research is primarily based on developed East Asia or China. Little is empirically known about the situation in non-western developing countries. Comparison between Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam is compelling, given their socio-economic and cultural similarities and differences. Importantly, Southeast Asia differs significantly from East Asia regarding kinship system and gender-roles expectation within the family. The gap in the literature warrants further exploration that considers diverse socioeconomic and cultural contexts of widowhood.


Asian Studies | Family, Life Course, and Society | Gerontology

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Population Association of America Annual Meeting 2017, April 27-29

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.