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    Interpersonal Relations And Suicide Ideation In China
     
    [ 作者: Zhang J; Jin S   来自:期刊原文   已阅:4447   时间:2006-12-30   录入:douyuebo


    ·期刊原文


    Interpersonal Relations And Suicide Ideation In China

    Zhang J; Jin S

    Genet Soc Gen Psychol Monogr

    Vol.124 No. 1 Feb.1998   Pp.79-94

    Copyright by Genet Soc Gen Psychol Monogr


               INTERPERSONAL RELATIONS AND SUICIDE IDEATION IN CHINA

    ABSTRACT. This study is an examination of the effects of interpersonal
    relations on suicide ideation in a national sample of 1,433 individuals
    from China. The effect of gender as well as Chinese-Western comparisons are
    also examined. Suicide ideation rates (defined as thinking about committing
    suicide) and rates for planned suicide were significantly lower than those
    in most U.S. samples; Chinese women consistently scored higher than men in
    both areas. LISREL path analyses indicated that interpersonal conflict had
    the greatest direct and total effect on suicide ideation, and social
    isolation was the weakest predictor among the three measures of
    interpersonal relations. A path model using the Chinese data calls into
    question Durkheim's social integration theory for predicting suicide.
    Findings are discussed in relation to Chinese culture.

    PREVIOUS RESEARCH ON SUICIDE IDEATION (defined as thinking about committing
    suicide) has addressed various correlates on both the social and individual
    levels. At the social structural level, most researchers have studied the
    effects of family, religion, and social support; at the individual
    psychological level, researchers have concentrated on the effects of
    depression and self-esteem. However, interpersonal relationships have not
    been adequately studied as an important social factor for predicting an
    individual's psychological well-being in relation to suicide ideation. In
    the current research, we examined several interpersonal factors in relation
    to suicide ideation.

    Interpersonal relations play a crucial role in determining an individual's
    psychological well-being. Most people are acutely aware that their
    relationships with others are important in shaping the nature of their
    lives. Klinger (1977) found that almost all U.S. respondents said that
    friends were important when asked, "What is it that makes your life
    meaningful?" In a U.S. study of interpersonal attraction using people of
    various ages, Berscheid (1985) found that "making and maintaining
    friendships" and "having positive, warm relationships" were very high
    priorities in making these people happy. Because good relations with people
    are associated with happiness, and because unhappiness (depression)
    predicts suicide ideation, a connection can be built between interpersonal
    relations and suicide ideation.

    Although few researchers have examined the impact of interpersonal
    relations on suicide ideation, many psychologists have examined the
    association between interpersonal relations and depression or self-esteem
    and between psychological well-being (such as depression and self-esteem)
    and suicide ideation. Results of studies investigating the impact of close
    relationships on mental health indicate a strong consensus that, in
    general, good relationships with other people have both preventive and
    ameliorative effects (Brickman et al., 1982; Dean & Lin, 1977; Suls, 1982).

    By testing an intervention model of constructive conflict resolution and
    cooperative learning with a sample of high school students in New York
    City, Zhang (1994) found that an improvement in interpersonal relations led
    to higher self-esteem, more positive attitudes toward life, and less
    depression or anxiety. Among patients with rheumatoid arthritis and
    osteoarthritis, Zautra, Burleson, Matt, Roth, and Burrows (1994) noticed
    that positive interpersonal events were inversely related to depression,
    whereas conflictual interpersonal events were directly correlated with
    higher levels of depression.

    Studies of the relationship between stress and depression, such as those
    just mentioned, have also consistently shown a correlation between the two
    events. However, as explained by Brown and Harris (1978), an important
    factor in the relationship between stress and depression is the amount of
    social support an individual has available when confronted with stressful
    events; individuals with one or several close friends are less likely to
    become depressed when experiencing stress (Brown & Harris, 1978).

    Links between psychological well-being and suicide ideation have been
    adequately addressed in the literature. Self-esteem reflects "people's
    evaluations of their own self-worth--that is, the extent to which they view
    themselves as good, competent, and decent" (Aronson, Wilson, & Akert, 1994,
    p. 20). As with psychological well-being, which is healthy, positive, and
    prosocial, self-esteem can be a buffer against suicide or suicide ideation,
    which is unhealthy, negative, and antisocial. Numerous studies have
    documented a negative relationship between self-esteem and suicide ideation
    (e.g., Brubeck & Beer, 1992; Cole, Protinsky, & Cross, 1992; de Man &
    Leduc, 1995; de Man, Leduc, & Labreche-Gauthier, 1993a, 1993b; Lester &
    Schaeffler, 1993; Lewinsohn, Rohde, & Seeley, 1994; Shagle & Barber, 1993,
    1995).

    De Man, Leduc, and Labreche-Gauthier (1993b) found that adolescents with
    low self-esteem or weak internal locus of control are more inclined toward
    suicide ideation and are more likely to commit suicide. In a study of over
    400 U.S. high school students, Cole et al. (1992) divided the respondents
    into groups with high and low risk of suicide and found that high-risk
    respondents reported significantly poorer quality friendships, lower
    self-esteem, and more life stress during the previous year. The strongest
    predictors of suicide attempts among another sample of U.S. high school
    students reported by Lewinsohn et al. (1994) included a history of past
    attempts, current suicide ideation or depression, a recent attempt by a
    friend, and low self-esteem.

    Suicide ideation in Beck's Depression Inventory (Beck, Ward, Mendelson,
    Mock, & Erbaugh, 1961) is simply an indicator that measures depression.
    Obviously there is a strong association between depression and suicide
    ideation when they are treated as two separate variables. Using Zuni
    adolescents, Howard-Pitney, LaFromboise, and Basil (1992) found, in a
    multiple regression analysis in which 12 other psychological and social
    factors were controlled, that depression is one of the best predictors of
    suicide ideation (r = .40).

    Yang and Clum (1994), who supplied an etiological model to a sample of
    Asian students, found that the standardized coefficient between depression
    and suicide ideation was .54, which is the highest coefficient in the model
    for predicting suicide ideation. Similarly, the de Man et al. study (1993a)
    of FrenchCanadian adolescents showed a correlation coefficient of .64 for
    depression and suicide ideation. Furthermore, the literature concerning the
    association between depression and suicide ideation published since 1990
    shows that, in most of the multiple-factor models reviewed, depression was
    identified as the best single predictor of suicide ideation, with an
    average mean coefficient of .51 from nine multiple regression or bivariate
    analyses (Zhang, 1996).

    In contrast to the numerous studies of self-esteem and depression and their
    relationship to suicide ideation, there are few studies of interpersonal
    relations and their effects on suicide ideation. Furthermore, the notion of
    interpersonal relations has been represented in many different ways in the
    literature. Social support, as one indicator of interpersonal relations,
    largely embodies family support (Hirsch & Ellis, 1995) and community
    support (De Man & LabrecheGauthier, 1991), whereas social isolation (De
    Man, 1988) and interpersonal stressors (Duberstein, Conwell, & Caine, 1993)
    depict a negative aspect of human relations.

    The relationship between social support and suicide was originally
    established by Durkheim (1897/1951). In Durkheim's view, suicide ideation
    varies inversely with social integration--the extent to which an individual
    is close to family and community. Previous studies have supported
    Durkheim's proposition that the more social support a person receives from
    the family or community, the less he or she experiences suicide ideation
    (de Man & Labreche-Gauthier, 1991; de Man, Labreche-Gauthier, & Leduc,
    1993; de Man & Leduc, 1995; Hirsch &Ellis, 1995; Howard-Pitney et al.,
    1992; Whatley & Clopton, 1992; Yang & Clum, 1994). On the other hand,
    interpersonal conflict (Meneese & Yutrzenka, 1990; Shagle & Barber, 1993),
    divorced parents (Brubeck & Beer, 1992; Hirsch & Ellis, 1995),
    interpersonal stress (Duberstein et al., 1993; Zautra et al., 1994),
    loneliness or social isolation (De Man, 1988; Rich, Kirkpatrick-Smith, &
    Bonner, 1992), and poor quality friendship or lack of interpersonal trust
    (Cole et al., 1992; Lester & Gatto, 1990) have all been shown to be
    positive correlates of suicide ideation.

    As a broad concept, interpersonal relations can be defined as either
    positive or negative. Negative interpersonal relations include difficulty
    in interactions, interpersonal conflict, and social isolation. To narrow
    the scope of the current study to a more manageable degree, we examined
    only the effects of negative interpersonal relations on suicide ideation.

    With three factors of negative interpersonal relations and two factors of
    social psychological status in a LISREL model (Figure 1), and based on
    previous literature, we hypothesized that

    1. each of the aspects of negative interpersonal relations will have a
    positive effect on an individual's suicidal ideation;

    2. the effects of the interpersonal relations on suicide ideation will be
    mediated by either depression or self-esteem;

    3. among the three exogenous factors, interpersonal conflict will have a
    greater total effect On suicide ideation than interaction difficulty, and
    social isolation will have the weakest predictive power.

    DIAGRAM: FIGURE 1. The path model of interpersonal relations, psychological
    statuses, and suicide ideation (for the indicators measuring each factor,
    see Table 2). The arrow on each path line does not necessarily indicate a
    causal relation (as it usually does) because causal data were not available
    for the current research.

                                       Method

    Sample

    The data for this study were obtained through a newspaper survey from a
    national sample of 1,433 Chinese individuals from 29 provinces,
    municipalities, and autonomous regions. Originally, we intended to include
    all the 30 areas in China where the newspaper is circulated, but Tibet had
    to be omitted because no responses were received from there. Shandong
    Provice provided, the most responses (127), accounting for 8.9% of the
    total; Hainan provided the least (9), accounting for 0.6% of the total. The
    variance in population partially explains the difference in the number of
    responses from each area. Details of the response distributions from the 29
    areas are available from the authors on request.

    The 50-item questionnaire was printed in the March 11, 1995, issue of
    Jiankang Bao (The Journal of Health), an official daily newspaper issued by
    the Chinese Ministry of Health with a nationwide circulation of 450,000. In
    the brief letter accompanying the questionnaire, readers were asked kindly
    to answer the questions by checking the most appropriate choice for each of
    the 50 items and then to mail it back to the editorial office of the
    newspaper in Beijing. The questionnaire took an average respondent about 10
    min to complete. Respondents paid for the postage when they returned the
    questionnaire but were promised the research results as soon as they were
    available.

    Many readers of The Journal of Health were concerned about their health and
    were convinced that the results of the research would benefit people,
    including themselves. This was a major incentive for most respondents to
    cooperate with the data collection. Within a period of 2 months, more than
    1,500 responses were received, of which 1,458 arrived before the deadline,.
    1 month after the questionnaire was printed. Twenty-five responses received
    in time were excluded because they were incomplete or because responses
    appeared to have been checked arbitrarily. Thus, 1,433 responses were
    retained for analyses.

    Given that anonymity was assured and no sensitive or politically loaded
    questions were asked, responses were assumed to be valid. The demographic
    characteristics of the sample are reported in Table I. There were
    approximately the same number of men (50.9%) as women (49.1%) responding to
    and completing the survey, and the characteristics of the sample were not
    much different from those of the population in China.

    Measurement

    In addition to demographic questions and many other topics, the
    questionnaire included items on interpersonal relations, depression,
    self-esteem, and suicidal ideation (see Appendix).

    The measurement of interpersonal relations consisted of 22 items on the
    quality of a respondent's relationship with family members and colleagues
    rated on a 6-point scale ranging from strongly agree (6) to strongly
    disagree (1). There were also two direct questions on the frequency of
    interpersonal conflict during the past year. All 24 items were developed by
    the current authors based on their knowledge of human relations within the
    context of Chinese culture, politics, economy, and history.

    A factor analysis of the 24 items yielded six dimensions of interpersonal
    relations: relationship with spouse or lover, interaction difficulty,
    interpersonal conflict with family members or colleagues, social isolation,
    social support, and attitudes about human relations. The Appendix contains
    the English version of the 24 items. The three measures selected for our
    current research were difficulty in interactions (10, 11, 12, 13, and 16),
    interpersonal conflict (1, 2, and 7), and social isolation (17, 19, and
    20). (The number for each variable in the parentheses is the actual number
    that appears in the questionnaire, and this rule is followed throughout
    this article.) Reliability tests yielded high coefficients for the three
    measures. The alpha values for difficulty in interactions, interpersonal
    conflict, and social isolation were .677, .660, and .597, respectively.

    We used the Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression Scale constructed
    by Radloff (1977) to measure depression, but of the 20 items of the
    original scale, we selected only 5 for the sake of brevity. The choice of
    the 5 was based on our previous experience with a Chinese college student
    sample, for which the reliability and validity of the 5 items measuring
    depression were adequately high (Zhang & Jin, 1996). The 5 items asked
    respondents how many days in I week they felt "bothered," "blue," "sad,"
    "lonely," and "depressed." A factor analysis led us to remove "lonely" from
    the scale; thus, 4 items constituted the final scale on depression. A
    reliability test of the 4 items yielded an alpha coefficient of .914,
    indicating that the selected questions are good and reliable measures of
    depression for the Chinese sample.

    We measured self-esteem on a scale modified from Rosenberg's Self-Esteem
    Scale (Rosenberg, 1965). Respondents were asked to Comment on four
    descriptions about themselves: (a) "On the whole, I am satisfied with
    myself"; (b) "My mistakes outweigh my merits"; (c) "Most other people are
    better than I am"; and (d) "I don't have much confidence in my future."
    Instead of Rosenberg's original 4-point scale, a 6-point scale anchored by
    strongly agree and strongly disagree was used to increase variance. All but
    the first item were re-coded so that a higher value indicated higher
    self-esteem. The alpha coefficient for the scale was .691, a fairly high
    level of reliability for the four items to measure self-esteem in the
    Chinese sample.

    We measured suicide ideation with the same two items we used in our
    previous cross-cultural research on Chinese and U.S. college students'
    suicide ideation (Zhang & Jin, 1996). One item asked the respondents how
    many times during the past year they had thought about killing themselves,
    and the other asked how many times during the past year they had prepared
    or had planned to kill themselves. Answers to both questions ranged from
    never (coded as 1) to three or more than three times (coded as 4). The
    reliability test of the two items yielded an alpha value of .490.

    The means and standard deviations of all the variables used in the analysis
    are reported in Table 2. To ensure the accuracy and validity of the
    measurements on depression and self-esteem, we, along with several other
    bilingual psychologists in China, made a translation and back-translation
    of the items.

    Methods of Analyses

    We used linear structural equation analysis (LISREL VII; J[non ascii
    character]reskog & S[non ascii character]rborn, 1989) to test the
    theoretical model. As a combination of factor analysis and multiple
    regression, LISREL uses latent constructs in a path model. Because each
    construct in the model can be measured by multiple observed variables,
    accuracy in estimating the underlying relationships and constructs can be
    significantly enhanced. All of the latent constructs and their
    corresponding observed variables in the model are reported in Table 2.

                                      Results

    Suicide Ideation and Rates for Suicide Planning

    In response to the two questions about suicide ideation, 28.3% reported
    that they had thought about committing suicide at least once during the
    past year, whereas only 7.7% of the sample admitted having planned or
    prepared for a suicide. Obvious gender differences for the two variables
    existed: 22.2% of the men versus 34.7% of the women reported thinking about
    suicide at least once during the past year, and 4.9% of the men versus
    10.9% of the women reported planning their suicides. Chi-square analyses of
    the effect of gender on the two ratings for suicide ideation indicated that
    gender was associated with thinking about or planning suicide (p < .001).

    Independent Variables in the Path Model

    Our major purpose in this study was to assess the effects of interpersonal
    relations on an individual's suicide ideation through psychological
    factors. Thus, linear structural equations analysis (LISREL VII) instead of
    multiple regression was used in the statistical procedure because two or
    more indicators were available for each factor used in the model. With more
    items measuring each latent variable, the model could be accurately tested.
    LISREL conducts a factor analysis of the variables that measure the
     different latent constructs and simultaneously assesses the coefficients
    of the measurement and structural models. Factor analysis focuses on a
    measurement model that specifies which variables are allowed to load on
    which factors and provides estimates of factor loadings and error variances
    for each of the measured variables.

    Results of the LISREL measurement are reported in Table 2. The squared
    multiple correlation coefficient (r2) indicates the percentage of variance
    in each variable represented by its latent construct. The r2 for suicidal
    ideation was .346, meaning that about 34% of variance in suicidal ideation
    was explained by the model. With an r2 of .461 for depression, we know that
    about 46% of the variance in depression was accounted for by its
    independent variables. Self-esteem had an r2 of .446, which indicates that
    about 45% of the variance in self-esteem was explained by its independent
    variables in the model. All the factor loadings (the lambdas in Table 2)
    were significant, and no adjustments were suggested by the analysis.

    LISREL provides several major approaches to test the measurement model.
    Chi-square analysis indicates the difference between the observed and the
    expected values, with a higher value indicating greater differences.
    Therefore, we hoped to find a small chi-square relative to the degrees of
    freedom to indicate that the theoretical model fit the data. For this
    model, the chi-square value was 603.99 with 174 degrees of freedom. For
    each degree of freedom, the chi-square value was only 3.47, which is small
    enough to indicate a good match of the model and data. sure of the relative
    amount of variance and covariance accounted for by the model and is
    independent of the sample size: The overall GFI between the model and the
    data indicates the closeness of the model to the data; the closer the value
    of GFI is to 1, the closer the model is to the data. In this model, we had
    a GFI of .957, which was another indication of the good fit of the model to
    the data.

    Root mean square residual (RMSR) is a measure of the average departure on
    each indicator of the model from the data. A smaller RMSR means smaller
    errors in the measurement. With a RMSR of .032 for this model, we know
    that, on average, about 3% of the unexplained variance attended each
    indicator. As can be seen from Figure 1, the theoretical model being tested
    consisted of three endogenous variables (depression, self-esteem, and
    suicidal ideation) and three exogenous variables (difficulty in
    interactions, interpersonal conflict, and social isolation). The figure
    also illustrates the results in terms of standardized regression
    coefficients in the path model. Coefficients of standardized solution were
    used because they allowed us to compare the strength of association for
    variables measured differently. All the standardized coefficients were
    significant at the .01 probability level.

    The R2s of the three endogenous variables were .461 for depression, .446
    for self-esteem, and .346 for suicidal ideation. Although alternative
    models exist for explaining suicidal ideation in the Chinese sample, the
    current model adequately predicted the dependent variable, with about 35%
    of variance in suicidal ideation accounted for by the model.

    Among the three interpersonal relation factors, difficulty in interactions
    (.134) and interpersonal conflict (.488) had a direct and positive
    relationship to the frequency of suicide ideation, whereas the direct
    effect of social isolation on suicidal ideation did not exist. The more
    difficulties an individual had in interacting with family members and
    colleagues and the more conflicts in which he or she was engaged, the
    higher the level of suicide ideation.

    However, the effect of social isolation on suicide ideation materialized
    through the two psychological factors. People with high levels of social
    isolation were more likely to have high scores on depression (.100) and low
    scores on self-esteem (-. 105), whereas scores on depression were
    positively correlated (.218) and scores on self-esteem were negatively
    correlated (-.172) with the frequency of suicide ideation. Actually, all
    three measures of interpersonal relations predicted suicide ideation
    through one or both of the psychological measures. Although depression and
    self-esteem were both important correlates of suicide ideation, the former
    (.218) was a slightly stronger predictor than the latter (-. 172).

    Although difficulty in interactions and interpersonal conflict both
    affected suicide ideation positively by direct and indirect paths
    (depression and self-esteem), interpersonal conflict had a greater total
    effect than difficulty in interactions did. If the total effect of an
    independent variable can be calculated with direct effect plus indirect
    effect plus another indirect effect, with the correlation coefficients
    provided in Figure 1, we have the following results:

    1. The total effect of difficulty in interactions on suicidal ideation
    through depression and self-esteem was .303.

    2. The total effect of interpersonal conflict on suicidal ideation through
    depression was .570.

    3. The total effect of social isolation on suicidal ideation through
    depression and self-esteem was .040.

    In general, all three hypotheses have been supported by the data, although
    some small modifications (described earlier) are noticeable.

                                     Discussion

    The suicide ideation and suicide planning rates (28.3% and 7.7%,
    respectively) in this study are similar to those found in earlier research
    (Zhang & Jin, 1996), in which a sample of Chinese college students was
    used, and in which the two rates were, respectively, 34.4% and 4.4%. The
    differences could be explained by at least two obvious reasons: the sample
    and the measurements. The characteristics of the college students surveyed
    for the previous study should be different from those of the general
    population used in the current study. According to what we know from U.S.
    studies, college students usually score higher than other populations on
    suicide ideation (Hirsch & Ellis, 1995; Neyra, Range, & Goggin, 1990; Rudd,
    1989). The measurements for suicide ideation and planning in the two
    research projects are also different. In the previous survey, we asked "how
    many times.., in the past few years," whereas the phrase "in the past one
    year" was used in the current study.

    The suicide ideation and planning rates found in the current study are
    significantly lower than those found in most U.S. samples (Strang &
    Orlofsky, 1990; Wellman & Wellman, 1988; Zhang & Jin, 1996; Zhang & Thomas,
    1991). We may attribute the lower rates to certain social factors in China.
    A higher level of social integration, a homogeneous and less anomic
    lifestyle, and a lower level of social competition are all plausible
    reasons.

    As found in the previous research (Zhang & Jin, 1996), the suicide ideation
    and attempt rates for women (34.7%, 10.9%) were higher than those for men
    (22.2%, 4.9%). This finding is also consistent with the results from
    studies by Saxon, Aldrich, and Kuncel (1978), Simons and Murphy (1985), and
    Salmons and Harrington (1984). This gender difference in Chinese suicide
    ideation is in accord with actual suicide rates in China. In a descriptive
    analysis of suicides in Beijing, China, from 1992 to 1993, Zhang (1996)
    reported that far more Chinese women committed suicide than Chinese men
    (55.4% vs. 44.6%), which is a surprising reverse of the gender difference
    found in almost all other countries.

    The higher rates for women for both ideation and completed suicides in
    China may be accounted for by the traditional Chinese culture. Generally,
    Chinese women have had lower status than Chinese men throughout history,
    especially with respect to family and marital issues. When problems arise,
    women are more likely to be blamed and held responsible for whatever caused
    the problems. Therefore, Chinese women may be more likely to feel depressed
    and helpless and think about suicide or go to extremes to solve a problem.
    Additional studies are needed to address the unique gender difference in
    Chinese suicide rates.

    The effects of interpersonal relations on suicide ideation have not been
    adequately studied in the past. The current research addresses this issue
    with three negative relational aspects in a path model. As illustrated in
    Figure 1, all the measures of interpersonal relations investigated in the
    model predict the frequency of suicide ideation significantly, and the
    predictive power varies from one to another. With all other independent
    variables kept constant, interpersonal conflict has proved to be the
    strongest predictor of suicide ideation, and social isolation is the
    weakest.

    In addition to the fact that social isolation is the poorest predictor
    among the three, it lacks a direct association with suicide ideation, and
    its relationships to depression and self-esteem are also weak (although
    significant). It is apparent that this finding does not strongly support
    Durkheim's (1897/1951) thesis that suicide varies inversely with social
    integration. If Durkheim were right, social isolation, that is, lack of
    social support, should be the strongest factor among the three to predict
    suicide ideation, because, in the current measurements, social isolation is
    closest to social support or social disintegration.

    In this model, in which a Chinese sample was used, interpersonal conflict
    and difficulty in interactions were strongly and positively related to
    suicide ideation, perhaps because of the importance of interpersonal
    relations in Chinese society. Negative relations with people can make a
    Chinese individual feel unhappy, uneasy, depressed, or bad about himself
    and even cause the individual to think about suicide. This response is
    perhaps more pronounced in Chinese culture.

    If "making and maintaining friendships" and "having positive, warm
    relationships" are the most important factors that make people happy
    (Berscheid, 1985), they are even more important for Chinese people. As the
    foundations of Chinese culture, Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism all
    emphasize the importance of building and maintaining positive human
    relations. Because of the cultural tradition and especially the political
    structure in the communist regime, guanxi (connections, influence, or a
    good relationship with people) has become the key to success for people in
    China. An informal observation indicates that ordinary Chinese people, who
    want to be successful at work have to spend about 50% to 70% of their time
    and energy dealing with relations with colleagues and bosses at work. For
    Chinese people, a good interpersonal relationship means much more than
    happiness.

    That interpersonal conflict and difficulty in interactions are more
    important than social isolation in predicting Chinese people's suicide
    ideation does not necessarily rule out Durkheim's thesis of social
    integration. However, few studies have been conducted for suicide and
    suicide ideation in China, and Durkheim's theory, which was developed in
    the West, may be inadequate in explaining the phenomenon in the East. More
    research is needed to test Durkheim's proposition for the Chinese
    population.

    Address correspondence to Jie Zhang, who is now at the Department of
    Sociology, SUNY College at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14222. E-mail:
    ZHANGJ@buffalostate. edu.

    TABLE 1
    Demographic Characteristics of the Respondents

    Variable          Valid cases                 Valid %

    Gender              1,417                      100
     Male                 721                       50.9
     Female               696                       49.1
    Age (years)          1430                      100
    < 25                  426                       29.8
    26-40                 466                       32.6
    41-55                 383                       26.8
    > 56                  155                       10.8

    Residential area      1,423                    100
     Large city             244                     17.1
     Medium city            434                     30.5
     Small town             433                     30.4
     Village                312                     21.9

    Educational level     1,424                    100
     Junior high or less    171                     12.0
     High school            517                     36.3
     Two-year college       495                     34.8
     Four-year college      210                     14.7
     Graduate school         31                      2.2

    Occupation            1,428                    100
     Executive manager       86                      6.0
     Ordinary manager       162                     11:3
     Managing personnel      95                      6.7
     Professional           783                     54.8
     Staff                   92                      6.4
     Worker                  60                      4.2
     Retired                 87                      6.1
     Other                   63                      4.4

    Monthly income*       1,417                    100
    [yen]250 or lower       235                     16.6
    [yen]251-[yen]500       692                     48.8
    [yen]501-[yen]1,000     418                     29.5
    [yen]1,001-[yen]1,800    54                      3.8
    over [yen]1,800          18                      1.3

    Marital status        1,426                    100
    Single                  448                     31.4
    Married                 906                     63.5
    Separated               37                       2.6
    Divorced                29                       2.0
    Widowed                  6                       0.4

    *The exchange rate in 1995 was approximately [yen]8.50 to USS1.00. TABLE 2
    Squared Multiple Correlations Between the Latent Constructs and Their
    Observed Variables in the LISREL Model Latent construct/ [lambda] Observed
    variables M SD r2 t value Difficulty in interactions Uneasy (10) 3.6 1.8
    .22 Unpleasant (11) 3.4 1.7 .28 12.48* Quarrel (12) 2.4 1.5 .27 12.33* Bias
    (13) 2.8 1.5 .50 14.19* Alert (16) 3.0 1.6 .24 11.95* Interpersonal
    conflict Conflict (1) 3.5 1.4 .39 Refusal (2) 3.8 1.4 .57 17.75* Stress (7)
    2.1 1.4 .28 14.59* Social isolation Enjoy alone (17) 3.6 1.5 .24 More time
    alone (19) 3.8 1.7 .67 11.74* Little sharing (20) 3.6 1.7 .19 11.06*
    Self-esteem Merits (25) 4.7 1.5 .39 Better (26) 4.2 1.6 .38 16.42*
    Satisfied (27) 4.4 1.4 .33 15.55* Confident (28) 4.0 1.8 .39 16.49*
    Depression Bothered (29) 2.7 1.5 .72 Blues (30) 2.6 1.4 .73 38.32* Sad (31)
    2.2 1.4 .75 39.11* Depressed (32) 2.6 1.5 .72 37.76* Suicide ideation Think
    (33) 1.6 1.0 .71 Plan (34) 1.1 .4 .28 12.98*

    Note. Each r2 indicates percentage of variance in each item represented by
    its latent construct. The items without a t value are reference variables.
    The numbers in parentheses are the actual numbers that appear in the
    questionnaire. *p < .01.

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                                      APPENDIX

    The English Translation of the Interpersonal Relation Items (presented in
    the order in which they appeared in the questionnaire)

    1. How many times in the past year have you had direct conflicts with
    family members and/or colleagues?

    2. How many colleagues and/or family members have you rejected in your own
    mind (without telling them) during the past year?

    3. I have the very same understanding of life and life interests that my
    spouse (or lover) has.

    4. I trust my spouse (or lover).

    5. I depend on my spouse (or lover) emotionally.

    6. My spouse and I have harmonious sexual relations.

    7. I have a stressful relationship with my family members.

    8. I often feel lonely even though I live among family members and
    colleagues.

    9. I get along well with my colleagues.

    10. I often feel uneasy because of my poor relationships with family
    members and col-leagues.

    11. I am always in a bad mood for a long time after I have disagreements
    with colleagues.

    12. It is easy for me to engage in a quarrel with others.

    13. I feel that many people are biased against me.

    14 Whenever I face pressures in life, I feel that there are always people
    offering me moral support.

    15. I find it easy to make friends and maintain friendships.

    16. I am always on the alert against hurts from others.

    17. I have more fun when I am alone than when I am with other people.

    18. I feel that nobody truly loves me.

    19. I spend more time alone than with others.

    20. I seldom share with others the frustration and difficulties in my
    heart.

    21. The members of my family are really concerned about each other.

    22. When it is necessary, I can rely on my family to overcome difficulties.

    23. I feel that as time has passed, people have become distant from each
    other.

    24. I feel that as time has passed, my interactions with other people have
    become more and more difficult.

    The first two questions (1 and 2) required respondents to answer on a scale
    ranging from 0 to 4 or more. All other questions were answered on a scale
    with six choices: strongly agree (6), agree (5), agree to some extent (4),
    disagree to some extent (3), disagree (2), or strongly disagree (1).

    Received February 21, 1997

    ~~~~~~~~

    By JIE ZHANG and SHENGHUA JIN

    Department of Sociology and Anthropology; Georgia Southern University

    Department of Psychology; Beijing Normal University, China
                                -------------------

     

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