Long-Term Effects of Maternal Loss on Vietnamese Amerasians

ROBERT S. McKELVEY, JOHN A. WEBB

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6 Scopus citations

Abstract

The objective of this study was to investigate the differential effects of maternal, single surrogate, and multiple surrogate caregiving on psychological and educational outcomes in a group of Vietnamese Amerasians. Subjects were assessed in Vietnam using several measures of affective and behavioral symptomatology as well as a detailed psychosocial history. Amerasians who lived continuously with their biological mothers had fewer symptoms of psychological distress than did either group raised by surrogate caregivers. In addition, those living continuously with either their mothers or a single surrogate had better educational outcomes and experienced fewer geographic relocations than did those raised by multiple surrogates. Amerasians who remained continuously with their biological mothers had better overall outcomes than did those raised by surrogate caregivers. Continuous surrogate caregiving appeared to offer some, but not complete, protection from the adverse effects of maternal loss. The clinical significance of these findings for those assessing and treating Amerasians, as well as for those assisting immigration officials with relocation decisions, is discussed. J. Am. Acad. Child Adolesc. Psychiatry, 1993,32,5:1013–1018.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1013-1018
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Volume32
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1993

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Keywords

  • Vietnamese Amerasians
  • immigrants
  • maternal loss
  • mental health
  • refugees

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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