Grandparenting and “Other” Children’s Support in Rural China

Zhen Cong, Texas Tech University
Merril Silverstein, University of Southern California
Shuzhuo Li, Xi'an Jiaotong University

This investigation examines how siblings adjust their support to their elder parents based on their parents’ efforts to provide child care, not only for themselves, but also for other siblings in rural China. The data were from a two-wave (2001, 2003) longitudinal study of 4,531 parent-child dyads parented by 1,275 parents, aged 60 and older, living in rural areas of Anhui Province, China. Random effects regression analysis showed that providing child care increased financial support from daughters and emotional support from sons. Daughters reduced their financial support if their parents increased child care efforts for other siblings, whereas sons’ financial contributions were not influenced. Emotional support from sons was strengthened when their parents provided more child care for other siblings, while emotional support from daughters was not influenced. We suggest taking a gendered extended family perspective in intergenerational relationship research.

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Presented in Session 123: Aging in Developing Countries: Intergenerational Support and Living Arrangements