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Sources of older parents' ambivalent feelings toward their adult children: the case of rural China.
J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2013 May; 68(3):420-30.JG

Abstract

OBJECTIVES

Relying on the concept of sociological ambivalence, this study investigated the sources of intergenerational ambivalence in rural China, a traditional society that undergoes dramatic demographic, economic, and social changes.

METHODS

Data were derived from a survey of 1,162 older adults and their 4,396 children in rural Anhui province. Two-level mixed-effects model was carried out to predict ambivalent feelings reported by the older parents toward their adult children.

RESULTS

The findings yielded both similar and distinctive predictors of intergenerational ambivalence among the Chinese elderly population compared with their Western counterparts. The Chinese elderly population reported greater ambivalence toward sons than toward daughters. Adult children's higher socioeconomic status, represented by a more prestigious job and an urban household registry status (hukou), was associated with reduced ambivalence among parents. Parents' monetary support to children and assistance with childcare, which is common in rural China due to the massive out-migration, were also associated with higher levels of ambivalent feelings.

DISCUSSION

We interpreted the findings in the larger social context of strong son preference, large-scale rural-to-urban migration, and rigid rural-urban division in China due to the household registration system. Our findings demonstrate that individual feelings of ambivalence are culturally structured and are determined within complex social environment.

Authors+Show Affiliations

School of Social Work, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242-1223, USA. man-guo@uiowa.eduNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

23591570

Citation

Guo, Man, et al. "Sources of Older Parents' Ambivalent Feelings Toward Their Adult Children: the Case of Rural China." The Journals of Gerontology. Series B, Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, vol. 68, no. 3, 2013, pp. 420-30.
Guo M, Chi I, Silverstein M. Sources of older parents' ambivalent feelings toward their adult children: the case of rural China. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2013;68(3):420-30.
Guo, M., Chi, I., & Silverstein, M. (2013). Sources of older parents' ambivalent feelings toward their adult children: the case of rural China. The Journals of Gerontology. Series B, Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 68(3), 420-30. https://doi.org/10.1093/geronb/gbt022
Guo M, Chi I, Silverstein M. Sources of Older Parents' Ambivalent Feelings Toward Their Adult Children: the Case of Rural China. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2013;68(3):420-30. PubMed PMID: 23591570.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Sources of older parents' ambivalent feelings toward their adult children: the case of rural China. AU - Guo,Man, AU - Chi,Iris, AU - Silverstein,Merril, PY - 2013/4/18/entrez PY - 2013/4/18/pubmed PY - 2013/6/21/medline SP - 420 EP - 30 JF - The journals of gerontology. Series B, Psychological sciences and social sciences JO - J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci VL - 68 IS - 3 N2 - OBJECTIVES: Relying on the concept of sociological ambivalence, this study investigated the sources of intergenerational ambivalence in rural China, a traditional society that undergoes dramatic demographic, economic, and social changes. METHODS: Data were derived from a survey of 1,162 older adults and their 4,396 children in rural Anhui province. Two-level mixed-effects model was carried out to predict ambivalent feelings reported by the older parents toward their adult children. RESULTS: The findings yielded both similar and distinctive predictors of intergenerational ambivalence among the Chinese elderly population compared with their Western counterparts. The Chinese elderly population reported greater ambivalence toward sons than toward daughters. Adult children's higher socioeconomic status, represented by a more prestigious job and an urban household registry status (hukou), was associated with reduced ambivalence among parents. Parents' monetary support to children and assistance with childcare, which is common in rural China due to the massive out-migration, were also associated with higher levels of ambivalent feelings. DISCUSSION: We interpreted the findings in the larger social context of strong son preference, large-scale rural-to-urban migration, and rigid rural-urban division in China due to the household registration system. Our findings demonstrate that individual feelings of ambivalence are culturally structured and are determined within complex social environment. SN - 1758-5368 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/23591570/Sources_of_older_parents'_ambivalent_feelings_toward_their_adult_children:_the_case_of_rural_China_ L2 - https://academic.oup.com/psychsocgerontology/article-lookup/doi/10.1093/geronb/gbt022 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -