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The Effect on Elderly Parents in Cambodia of Losing an Adult Child to AIDS

Publication Abstract

Knodel, John E., Zachary S. Zimmer, Kiry Sovan Kim, and Sina Puch. 2007. "The Effect on Elderly Parents in Cambodia of Losing an Adult Child to AIDS." Population and Development Review, 33(3): 479-500.

The general omission of older persons in AIDS research both reflects and contributes to their lack of visibility in discussions of the epidemic. Our study is based on surveys conducted in Cambodia in 2004 and 2005 and examines a broad range of effects the illness and death of an adult son or daughter could have on parents, with a focus on AIDS deaths. It thus provides systematic evidence on this issue for a country characterized by extreme poverty and a substantial AIDS epidemic.

AIDS death can adversely influence the economic, physical, emotional, and social well-being of surviving parents. These effects include the emotional pain from the suffering and death of the child; the loss of any material or caregiving support that the child had been providing parents, especially if the child was coresident; the time, physical, and material demands on parents who provide care for their ailing children; the financial and care responsibilities for orphaned grandchildren; the loss of future old-age support that the deceased child might have provided; and the negative reactions of the community.

DOI:10.1111/j.1728-4457.2007.00181.x (Full Text)

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