Study Title: Care arrangements of AIDS orphans and their relationship with children’s psychosocial well-being in rural China
Authors: Hong Y, Li X, Fang X, Zhao G, Zhao J, Zhao Q, Lin X, Zhang L, Stanton B
Abstract: There is an estimated 100,000 children orphaned by AIDS in China, but data on the care arrangement of these orphans are limited. In this study, we examine the relationship between AIDS orphans’ care arrangement and their psychosocial well-being among a sample of AIDS orphans in rural China. A total of 296 children who lost both parents to AIDS participated in the study, including 176 in orphanages, 90 in kinship care and 30 in community-based group homes. All participants completed a cross-sectional survey assessing their traumatic symptoms, physical health and schooling. Data reveal that the AIDS orphans in group homes reported the best outcomes in three domains of psychosocial well-being, followed by those in the orphanages and then the kinship care. The differences in psychosocial well-being among the three groups of children persist after controlling for key demographic characteristics. The findings suggest that the appropriate care arrangement for AIDS orphans should be evaluated within the specific social and cultural context where the orphans live. In resource-poor regions or areas stricken hardest by the AIDS epidemic, kinship care may not sufficiently serve the needs of AIDS orphans. Community-based care models, with appropriate government and community support preserving the family style and low child-to-caregiver ratio may constitute an effective and sustainable care model for the best interest of the AIDS orphans in developing countries.
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