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Intergenerational Relations as Parents Age: Filial Values vs Behaviours Neena L. Chappell, PhD, FRSC Canada Research Chair in Social Gerontology University.

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Presentation on theme: "Intergenerational Relations as Parents Age: Filial Values vs Behaviours Neena L. Chappell, PhD, FRSC Canada Research Chair in Social Gerontology University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Intergenerational Relations as Parents Age: Filial Values vs Behaviours Neena L. Chappell, PhD, FRSC Canada Research Chair in Social Gerontology University of Victoria For: Social Capital and Volunteering in Modern Ageing Cities: Building Intergenerational Inclusion, an international conference, City U, Hong Kong, Dec. 16, 2008

2 ORGANIZATION OF THIS TALK Gerontological caregiving research Filial responsibility in Chinese & Western cultures Caregiving behaviours in the 2 cultures First results from SSHRC study Conclusions

3 INFORMAL CAREGIVING Mainly family care. Mainly women (wives and daughters). First resort and mainstay of care. Increased demands with health reform.

4 Most research on behaviours Less on attitudes such as filial responsibility. Less still on relationship between attitudes and behaviour.

5 Attitudes not necessarily predictive of behaviour (Piercy, 1998; Stein et al, 1998).

6 FILIAL RESPONSBILITY A norm (cultural schema about appropriate behaviour towards parents, Holroyd, 2001). Cultural norms are internalized through socialization. Can be measured as individual attitudes. Attitudes about duty or obligation. And/or general attitudes favouring support for aging parents.

7 CHINESE CULTURE Historically filial piety Includes respect & care for elderly family members Explicitly taught from early age. Children, especially sons, obligated to be responsible for care. In practice, son’s wife provided most hands- on care.

8 Mid 20 th Century political, social, cultural shifts. Inheritance laws changed. Love and marriage emphasized and for children. Individual rather than lineage, given civil rights.

9 Women more equal to men. Daughters share legal responsibility for parents with sons. Filial piety attacked as feudal.

10 Late 1970s – embraced as a virtue and primary value of Chinese society. Focus now on support rather than obedience or producing descendents. Children, notably women, urged to support their parents.

11 CONCEPT EMBRACED BUT FORM CHANGING Networked families. Spouses increasing as care provider. Role of daughter-in-law is decreasing. Role of daughter is increasing. Sons continue to provide much care.

12 DIASPORIC CHINESE IN NORTH AMERICA Trans-national identity. Elements of Chinese culture (living arrangements, son/daughter-in-law caring unit). Similarities with western culture (care from daughters; care from spouses).

13 NORTH AMERICAN CULTURE Values individualism and independence. Family obligations less explicit. No explicit teaching of filial responsibility (vague mental awareness, Fry, 1996). No normative consensus (Finch & Mason, 1991). Not unconditional or automatic.

14 NEVERTHELESS Since 1970s, research shows families provide care to their elderly members. Spouses primary caregivers. Followed by daughters. Sons provide care in absence of spouses and daughters, or provide $ and advice.

15 Chinese and Canadian cultures appear to be contrasts in their norms of filial responsibility. Both seem to have patterns of caregiving behaviours that diverge from espoused societal norms.

16 In both cultures, children provide care but it can take different forms. Chinese Canadians appear to fall between Chinese culture and western culture.

17 CAREGIVING BEHAVIOURS Seem to be predicted by both cultural (strong family ties, filial piety, etc.) and structural (poverty, co-residents, etc.) factors.

18 THE RESEARCH: Funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada to: Chappell (University of Victoria) Chou (University of Hong Kong) Funk (University of Victoria)

19 METHODOLOGY N=315 Caucasian Canadian = 100 Chinese Canadian = 90 Chinese in Hong Kong = 125

20 STRUCTURED INTERVIEWS face-to-face structured interview Approximately 1.5 hrs Samples not random

21 INCLUSION CRITERIA A parent ≥ 60 years of age. ≥ 3 hours of care per week (could be emotional support). Caucasian – ancestrally from: Canadian, French Canadian, English/Welsh/Irish/ Scottish, American, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, Icelandic, French, German, Dutch/Belgian, Eastern European (Russian, Ukrainian, Polish).

22 Chinese Canadian (descendents from Hong Kong). Hong Kong Chinese (child and parent living in Hong Kong and Chinese).

23 SAMPLE DIFFERENCES CG GroupGenderWorkingAge Caucasian Chinese-Canadian Chinese-HK (male)(employed)(older)

24 SAMPLE DIFFERENCES CONT’D GroupIncome Other parent alive Lives with CR Caucasian Chinese-Canadian Chinese-HK (lower)(no)

25 NO GROUP DIFFERENCES Marital status of caregiver How close and affectionate caregiver is to care receiver.

26 ATTITUDES (means) GroupFilial ExpectancyFilial Piety Caucasian Chinese Canadian Chinese HK (low)

27 BEHAVIOUR GroupADL HelpIADL HelpEmotional Support Caucasian Chinese-Canadian Chinese-HK (less)

28 BEHAVIOUR CONT’D GroupCompanionship*Finances** Caucasian Chinese-Canadian Chinese-HK (more)(less)

29 CORRELATIONS: CAUCASIAN CANADIAN Filial ExpectancyFilial Piety Help with ADLns Help with # ADLns Help with IADLns Help with # IADLns Emotional Supportns Companionshipns Financesns

30 CORRELATIONS: CHINESE- CANADIAN Filial ExpectancyFilial Piety Help with ADLns Help with # ADLns Help with IADLns Help with # IADLns Emotional Support.40***.32** Companionship.33**.24* Finances.37***

31 CORRELATIONS: CHINESE- H.K. Filial ExpectancyFilial Piety Help with ADL.18*.22** Help with # ADLns Help with IADLns Help with # IADLns Emotional Support.30**.23** Companionship.21*ns Financesns

32 OLS Regressions ADL (#)IADL (#) Caucasian.20**.18** HK Chinese.50*** -.67*** CR ill health.26*** ns CG lives with CR.12*.21*** Employment -.15** ns CG education ns -.10 CG age ns.11 ADL: R² =.38 F = 37.46; df = ; p<.000 IADL: R² =.58; F = 83.38; df = ; p<.000 *p<.01; **p<.001; ***p<.001. (no asterisk = p<.05)

33 OLS Regressions CompanionshipEmotional Support Finances Caucasianns.36*** -.43*** HK Chinese-.29ns FESns.21**ns (FP)(ns) (.14*)(ns) CG agens.17*-.10 Enjoy CR timens.23*** -.14* CR healthns-.22***ns Confide in CR.41***.17*.19* Emotional support: R² =.29; df = ; p<.000 Finances: R² =.34; df = ; p<.000 Companionship: R² =.18; df = ; p<.000 *p<.01; **p<.001; ***p<.000 (no asterisk = p<.05)

34 Conclusions Cultural differences in caregiving attitudes confirmed Chinese-Canadians similar to Chinese-HK rather than in the middle

35 Cultural groups vary depending on the caregiving behaviour examined Caucasians and Chinese-HK more similar in providing ADL help Caucasian Canadians and Chinese Canadians more similar in terms of IADL

36 Chinese-HK distinctive in less companionship and less emotional support Caucasian-Canadian distinctive in lack of financial support

37 The multivariate analyses confirm the importance of cultural group over and above attitudes of filial expectancy or piety for predicting caregiving behaviour

38 Neena L. Chappell, Ph.D, FRSC Canada Research Chair in Social Gerontology University of Victoria British Columbia, Canada V8W 2Y2 phone (250) fax (250)


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