Q:

How does empty nest syndrome work?

A:

Quick Answer

Empty-nest syndrome is a form of depression that some parents experience after the last child has left the family home for good. The syndrome can keep the parent from connecting with her spouse or engaging in activities she enjoys.

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Full Answer

A Journal of Family Issues study from 2009 asserts that certain parents are more prone to empty-nest syndrome. For instance, parents whose identities are wrapped up in taking care of their children are more likely to become despondent when their children leave home. According to the study, this is especially true for women. The study also reveals that parents who are uncomfortable with the lack of control they have over their children's lives once the children leave home may also experience empty-nest syndrome. This is especially true for the men who participated in the study. Parents may also worry excessively about the safety and well-being of their children once the children move out of the home. Parents who have few children or only one child may also experience empt- nest syndrome once the child has moved out. The study also reveals that parents who feel their children left home too early or too late according to societal norms are likely to suffer empty-nest syndrome.

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