Essay

Filial responsibilities and expectations: A cross-cultural perspective, comparing Anglo- and Chinese-Australians

18 Jun 2008
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Australia’s older population has become more diversified in terms of country of origin and ethnicity. The number of overseas-born older Australians will increase from 17.8 percent in 1996 to 22.5 percent by 2011. Essentially, by 2051, people with Asian cultural backgrounds will represent a large part of Australia’s older population. This new wave of migrant groups will eventually replace the current trend of older people from European backgrounds. The Commonwealth Government has therefore recognised challenges and opportunities offered by this trend as a National Research Priority.

The research presented here is part of a large-scale quantitative study that looked at ageing well, filial piety, acculturation, and psychological well-being. Because cross- cultural research on value orientations of migrants has been very limited, the focus of this research was to assess the values and meanings associated with filial piety within the context of Australia. This paper examines similarities and differences between Chinese-Australians and Anglo-Australians with respect to various aspects of filial responsibilities towards older adults and filial expectations they have of younger adults. This study comprised a total of 268 participants, which consisted of 152 Anglo-Australians and 116 Chinese-Australians. Questionnaires were available in Chinese and in English. Participants were recruited from various parts of Australia, mainly from South Australia, where the research was conducted.

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2008
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