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Coresidence with Elderly Parents in Contemporary China: The Role of Filial Piety, Reciprocity, Socioeconomic Resources, and Parental Needs

Publication Abstract

Download PDF versionZhang, Zhenmei, Danan Gu, and Ye Luo. 2014. "Coresidence with Elderly Parents in Contemporary China: The Role of Filial Piety, Reciprocity, Socioeconomic Resources, and Parental Needs." PSC Research Report No. 14-824. August 2014.

This paper examines how adult children's expressed filial piety, receipt of help from parents, socioeconomic resources, and parents' needs are associated with the likelihood of parent-child coresidence in contemporary China. Drawing on the 2002 wave of the Chinese Survey of Family Dynamics and the 2002 wave of the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey, we used logistic regression to analyze correlates of coresidence with parents of 3,938 married adult children, aged 35 to 65. Results show that the stronger the filial piety expressed by adult children, the higher their likelihood of coresiding with their parents. Married adult children are also more likely to coreside with elderly parents who have provided intensive grandchild care and financial support or with those who need financial, physical, and emotional support. However, adult children who own homes are significantly less likely to live with their parents than are those who do not. These findings suggest that coresidence in contemporary China is influenced not only by parents' needs but also by children's values, socioeconomic resources, and past receipt of parental help.

Country of focus: China.

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