EMPTY NEST SYNDROME AND ITS ASSOCIATION BETWEEN APPETITE AND QUALITY OF LIFE AMONG FEMALE ADULTS IN KUANTAN
Introduction: Feeling lonely, depression, and grief upon a child leaving home is known as ‘empty nest syndrome.’ It has been noted in earlier studies that the mother is vulnerable towards this separation. Empty nest syndrome has mainly been overlooked among female adults supposedly for lack of extensive study and appropriate data. Aims: To build upon life course theory, this study examined the prevalence of empty nest syndrome among middle-aged women in Kuantan and its association with appetite and quality of life. Methods: Women aged 40 to 59 years old from Kuantan, Pahang, who have at least one child leaving the parental home, were recruited in this study (n= 242). Data were gathered through self-administered questionnaires using a translated version of the De Jong Gierveld Loneliness Scale, Council for Nutritional Appetite Questionnaires (CNAQ), and World Health Organization (WHOQOL) BREF Version. P-value was set at p<0.05 as statistically significant to determine the association between empty nest syndrome with appetite and quality of life. Results: Finding reveals a high prevalence of empty nest syndrome among female adults (68.2%) and diverse variation in appetite and quality of life by socio-demographic characteristics. It has then been denoted that empty nest syndrome was negatively correlated with both appetite and quality of life. It indicated in general, mothers who suffer from empty nest syndrome are having poor appetite (p<0.001) and low quality of life (p<0.001). Conclusions: Understanding empty nest syndrome with its associated factors and consequences is essential to inculcate the adoption of a healthy lifestyle and coping mechanism behaviors. Thus, further research is needed to uncover empty nest syndrome determinants in a more comprehensive view.
KEYWORDS: Empty Nest Syndrome, Mother, Women, Lonely, Appetite, Quality of Life