|Filial anxiety and preparation for caregiving among one-child generations in China
|Bai, Xue (APSS)
|Older people -- Care -- China
Filial piety -- China
Adult children of aging parents -- China
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
|Department of Applied Social Sciences
|xv, 145 pages : illustrations
|Socioeconomic transformations over the past decades have created eldercare dilemmas among Chinese families. Previous studies on care provision crisis in China have mostly focused on the perspectives of older adults, whereas few have investigated how adult children anticipate and cope with future eldercare needs.
Drawing on the Stress Process Model, proactive coping theory, Preparation for Future Care Needs (PFCN) model, this study examined how primary stressors (i.e., parent's declining health, adverse psychological health, and lack of eldercare resources), anticipatory stressor (i.e., anticipated parental care needs), and psychosocial resources (i.e., sibling number, value of filial obligation, intergenerational relationship, work stress, family stress, and internal locus of control) influenced the multiple domains of filial anxiety (i.e., Filial Anxiety-Ability, Filial Anxiety-Responsibility, and Filial Anxiety-Welfare) and care preparation (i.e., Awareness-Decision, Avoidance, Information Gathering, and Concrete Planning). By integrating the same theories, this study also explored the mechanism of care preparation steps and its relationships with stressors and filial anxiety.
A face-to-face questionnaire survey was conducted among 530 Chinese adult children aged between 26 and 40 years in Shenzhen. The Filial Anxiety Scale and PFCN Scale were adapted and validated for Chinese adult children. For the Filial Anxiety Scale, a new factor (i.e., Filial Anxiety-Responsibility) emerged beyond the original two-factor structure. For the PFCN Scale, the original five-factor structure was transformed into a four-factor one by merging the Awareness and Decision Making domains.
Survey results demonstrated that Chinese adult children experienced a moderate level of overall filial anxiety and a particularly high level of filial anxiety about parents' welfare. They engaged in a moderate level of care preparation but with a particularly high level of Awareness-Decision and a low level of Concrete Planning. Adult children with higher work and family stress, with fewer siblings, and whose parents lack eldercare resources were more likely to experience high level of filial anxiety. Those who were female, aged 30 years and below and had parents living in Shenzhen were less likely to engage in care preparation. Parents with limited eldercare resources, higher anticipated parental care needs, better intergenerational relationship, and higher internal locus of control were factors that may promote care preparation.
Path analyses results supported successive steps of care preparation. Besides, the engagement in Awareness-Decision may reduce Filial Anxiety-Ability and Filial Anxiety-Responsibility but exacerbate Filial Anxiety-Welfare. Information Gathering may also increase Filial Anxiety-Responsibility. Concrete Planning was consistently related to reduced filial anxiety. In certain path models, the mediation effects of anticipated parental care needs and care preparation, and their serial mediation effects were supported.
This study has implications for understanding Chinese adult children's level of filial anxiety and engagement in care preparation with validated scales; identifying adult children who are particularly anxious about providing filial care and inadequately prepared for future caregiving; supporting theoretical integration to explore relationships among stressors, proactive coping strategies and stress; and facilitating the development of family-friendly policies and care preparation interventions targeting specific steps to alleviate adult children's potential caregiving burden, and prepare them for future caregiving.
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