Parent-Child Dynamics and Family Solidarity: A Comparative Study of East Asian Societies

Juhua Yang, Renmin University of China

Family solidarity refers to adult child-parent relations and can be examined from structural, social-psychological, and transactional perspectives. In East Asia, family organization has undergone substantial changes along with socioeconomic and demographic transitions in the past decades, and consequently family solidarity may have been affected. Using the 2006 East Asian Social Survey, we compare patterns of adult child-parent relations among Mainland China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. Analytical results suggest that far from eroding, the family organization in East Asia remains strong in co-residence, emotional exchanges, and financial support between child- and parental generations, despite the differences in relative strengths in these dimensions of family solidarity across the four societies. Overall, families in Korea seem to maintain the strongest cohesion, followed by those in Taiwan and Mainland China, and Japanese families are the least cohesive. These results suggest a cultural force that holds the family to a solidified system during rising modernization in economy and society.

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Presented in Session 108: Household Structure and Intergenerational Relationships in Historical and Comparative Perspective