Parent–child relationships among older immigrants from mainland China: a descriptive study using the solidarity, conflict, and ambivalence perspectives

Xiaoping Lin, Briony Dow, Jennifer Boldero, Christina Bryant

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Abstract

Older Chinese immigrants are one of the largest and fastest growing groups of older immigrants in many Western countries. This study examined their relationships with children using multiple dimensions drawn from the solidarity–conflict model and the ambivalence perspective. A convenience sample of 62 older Chinese immigrants was recruited and data were collected through standardized interviews. The majority of participants lived independently from their children and had at least weekly contact with them. Most were involved in some kind of intergenerational exchange with their children and had relatively high expectations about filial obligations. Despite half considering that their parent–child relationships were good, three-quarters reported conflict and ambivalence in these relationships, and half reported generational differences in values. The results highlight the complexity of parent–child relationships among older Chinese immigrants and suggest that although filial piety continues to influence parent–child relationships in this group, many changes have occurred in its practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Family Studies
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2 Mar 2018

Keywords

  • Ambivalence
  • filial piety
  • intergenerational relationships
  • older immigrants
  • the solidarity–conflict model

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