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Social change and intergenerational family support amongst three cohorts of older people in China - a mixed methods study

Social change and intergenerational family support amongst three cohorts of older people in China - a mixed methods study
Social change and intergenerational family support amongst three cohorts of older people in China - a mixed methods study
China’s ageing process is accelerating as the large birth cohorts of the 1950s and 1960s enter their old age. Existing literature in China, as in many developing countries, has largely regarded older people as a homogeneous group and neglects the changing life experiences of different ageing cohorts and how their characteristics change accordingly. This study contributes to ageing research by using a life-course perspective and cohort lens to investigate the early life experiences and later life ageing scenarios amongst the cohorts born in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s; cohorts whose lives have been shaped by China’s social and economic transformation over the past seven decades. It sheds light on the possible family care circumstances of future older people, represented by the 1960s cohort, and proposes relevant policy interventions.

By employing a sequential-explanatory mixed methods approach, this research finds that: 1) Each birth cohort has been influenced by the transformation of the last 70 years in a distinctive way. Thus they have different needs and expectations for later life, and the vulnerable groups within each cohort are distinct and have specific primary needs. 2) Overall, there are four main influences on the patterns of intergenerational support between older people and their adult children: parents’ SES, parents’ needs, children’s SES, and the effect of investment.3) Although the 1960s cohort has fewer adult children ‘available’, they are better off, better educated, and more modern and independent than previous cohorts. Consequently, they are likely to expect more emotional rather than material support from their children. 4) Social support agencies need to collaborate, and to work alongside adult children, to provide long-term care for future cohorts of older people in China. More targeted social policies are needed to meet the specific needs of vulnerable groups amongst different cohorts of older people.

Future research needs to address the following groups: older men who have experienced divorce, those older people who have migrated, and one-child families; and issues: technological development and ageing scenarios, and long-term care provision for rural and less-developed communities.

University of Southampton
Wang, Ning
27d28060-d1af-4086-82b7-d6b649f2f93e
Wang, Ning
27d28060-d1af-4086-82b7-d6b649f2f93e
Evandrou, Maria
cd2210ea-9625-44d7-b0f4-fc0721a25d28

Wang, Ning (2018) Social change and intergenerational family support amongst three cohorts of older people in China - a mixed methods study. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis, 384pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

China’s ageing process is accelerating as the large birth cohorts of the 1950s and 1960s enter their old age. Existing literature in China, as in many developing countries, has largely regarded older people as a homogeneous group and neglects the changing life experiences of different ageing cohorts and how their characteristics change accordingly. This study contributes to ageing research by using a life-course perspective and cohort lens to investigate the early life experiences and later life ageing scenarios amongst the cohorts born in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s; cohorts whose lives have been shaped by China’s social and economic transformation over the past seven decades. It sheds light on the possible family care circumstances of future older people, represented by the 1960s cohort, and proposes relevant policy interventions.

By employing a sequential-explanatory mixed methods approach, this research finds that: 1) Each birth cohort has been influenced by the transformation of the last 70 years in a distinctive way. Thus they have different needs and expectations for later life, and the vulnerable groups within each cohort are distinct and have specific primary needs. 2) Overall, there are four main influences on the patterns of intergenerational support between older people and their adult children: parents’ SES, parents’ needs, children’s SES, and the effect of investment.3) Although the 1960s cohort has fewer adult children ‘available’, they are better off, better educated, and more modern and independent than previous cohorts. Consequently, they are likely to expect more emotional rather than material support from their children. 4) Social support agencies need to collaborate, and to work alongside adult children, to provide long-term care for future cohorts of older people in China. More targeted social policies are needed to meet the specific needs of vulnerable groups amongst different cohorts of older people.

Future research needs to address the following groups: older men who have experienced divorce, those older people who have migrated, and one-child families; and issues: technological development and ageing scenarios, and long-term care provision for rural and less-developed communities.

Text
PhD thesis Ning Wang final print - Version of Record
Available under License University of Southampton Thesis Licence.
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More information

Published date: August 2018

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 427250
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/427250
PURE UUID: 2e470684-b7b5-4737-b7e4-68d6fd7cd290
ORCID for Maria Evandrou: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-2115-9358

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 09 Jan 2019 17:31
Last modified: 22 Nov 2021 07:04

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Contributors

Author: Ning Wang
Thesis advisor: Maria Evandrou ORCID iD

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