Older Chinese immigrants' relationships with their children: A literature review from a solidarity-confict perspective

Xiaoping Lin, Christina Bryant, Jennifer Boldero, Briony Dow

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Older Chinese immigrants are one of the largest and fastest growing groups in Western societies. This article used the solidarity-confict model to synthesize current research examining parent-child relationships in this group. 

Methods: A comprehensive literature search was conducted in the CINAHL, Medline, and PubMed databases to identify relevant articles. A narrative approach was used to review the literature. 

Results: Thirty-six articles were identified. Compared with Caucasians, older Chinese immigrants are more likely to live with children and have higher filial expectations. However, considerable numbers live independently. Of these, most live in public housing and rely on the community rather than their children for instrumental help. Many older Chinese immigrants have adjusted their filial expectations and valued being independent. They also provide extensive household help to their children. There are indications of intergenerational confict, probably due to generational differences in attitudes toward life and limited intergenerational contact. 

Implications: This review suggests that although filial piety continues to Influence older parent-child relationship in Chinese immigrant families, many changes have occurred. These findings have important implications for service planning and delivery for this cultural group. This review also provides evidence for the utility of the solidarity-conflict model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)990-1005
Number of pages16
JournalThe Gerontologist
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Filial piety
  • Intergenerational relationships
  • Older Chinese immigrants
  • Parent-child relationships
  • The solidarity-confict model

Cite this