Stress and coping in families with old unmarried males: evidence from YC County in rural Henan China

Yan Wei, Xi’an University of Finance and Economics (XAUFE)
Xiaoyi Jin, Xi'an Jiaotong University

Using data from qualitative interviews in central China and the three-stage coding method of grounded theory, this paper explores old unmarried males’ family stress and coping strategies drawing on family stress theory. The present paper finds that old unmarried males have exerted a negative impact on family economy, family relationship and family members’ psychology. Family poverty, low social status as well as individual comparative disadvantages have together resulted in the singleness of old unmarried males. The inability of old unmarried males’ families to integrate internal and external resources and to communicate about stress, together with the old unmarried male’s own limited economic ability, low education and rare social intercourses have aggravated their family stress. Through the present research, we intend to provide the government with a theoretical basis for improving old unmarried males and their families’ well-being, alleviating marriage squeeze and promoting social stability.

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Presented in Session 6: Family dynamics and networks