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J Gerontol Soc Work. 2009 Jul;52(5):534-54. doi: 10.1080/01634370902983245.

Intergenerational support of Chinese rural elders with migrant children: do sons' or daughters' migrations make a difference?

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School of Social Work, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California 90089-0411, USA.


This article investigates how the out-migration of adult children affects monetary, instrumental, and emotional support of Chinese rural elders over a 5-year interval, and whether the gender of migrant children makes a difference in such relationships. With a sample of 1,006 older parents (60+) in rural Anhui province, the result of hierarchical regression analyses showed that support from adult children was mainly needs based. Declining income of older parents related to increased monetary support. Experiencing widowhood and difficulties with instrumental activities of daily living was associated with higher probability of receiving instrumental support. Beyond expanding parental needs, only the out-migration of sons led to more monetary and emotional support among elders over time. Implications for policy, social work practice, and future research are discussed.

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