Predictors of Anticipated Instrumental Support from Children among Elderly Parents in Urban and Rural China

Cheng Cheng, Princeton University

Drastic socioeconomic developments in China challenge its traditional norm of filial piety, especially in urban areas. Examining how predictors of anticipated support from children differ in rural and urban areas sheds light on how the norm of filial obligations may have altered. Using data from China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study 2011, this study examines how parental resourcefulness, parental investment in children, and child gender influence parents’ anticipated support from children differently in rural and urban China. Results suggest that in rural China where the norm of filial piety is still predominant, anticipated support from children is unrelated to parental resources measured by income and health but positively related to the presence of sons. In urban China, anticipated support from children depends on parental resources but not on child gender. Parental investment in children through education, however, does not imply higher anticipated support from children in rural China as expected.

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 Presented in Session P1. Marriage, Unions, Families, and Households