The Chinese postreform generation as caregivers: The caregiving intentions toward parents and parents-in-law of the one-child generation
Number of pages
SourceJournal of Family Issues, 39, 14, (2018), pp. 3690-3712
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ RSCR CAOS
SW OZ BSI OGG
Journal of Family Issues
SubjectAnthropology and Development Studies; Developmental Psychopathology
The problem of population aging in China has been widely documented. As a result of decreasing birth rates due to the Chinese one-child policy, birth rates have decreased dramatically, while life expectancy has increased. By 2040, it is expected that 24.6% of the Chinese population will be older than 65 years (United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, 2015), with the majority of the elderly care likely to fall to their, often, singleton children. Little research has been conducted, however, with this future generation of caregivers. This article reports on a mixed-methods study comparing the attitudes of the one-child generation toward the future care of their parents and parents-in-law, in terms of gender, sibling status, and urban/rural providence. It includes the results of 26 in-depth interviews with students aged 18 to 22 years, and a survey among 351 first-year students of a semiprivate university in Zhuhai (China). No differences were found for gender, sibling status, or urban/rural providence for the intention to take care of the own parents in the future, although rural and nonsingleton participants were more likely to mention that they intended to live close to, or with their parents in the future than their urban and singleton counterparts. Concerning the care for future parents-in-law, male students in both the survey and the interviews were significantly less likely to accept responsibility for their care than female students, but no differences were found for urban/rural providence or for sibling status in this respect. Finally, female and rural students were found to be significantly much more likely to want to live in a separate house than their male and urban counterparts.
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