BACKGROUND: The empty nest syndrome is frequently mentioned in the literature as a period of change in the couples' lives, after children leaving home. OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this article is to review the conceptual notions related to empty nest syndrome, to verify its current applicability, as well as its peculiarities in different cultures. METHOD: We reviewed the available literature on the empty nest syndrome using the MedLine and PsycINFO databases. RESULT: The empty nest syndrome period occurs along with several changes such as retirement and menopause which can exacerbate feelings of depression and low self-esteem. In addition, social and cultural factors potentially influence the emergence and intensity of the syndrome. CONCLUSION: Studies on the empty nest syndrome have limitations and there is a gap of studies methodologically appropriate in our country to validate it in the Brazilian context.
Empty nest syndrome; empty nest; postparental; middle-age