Chinese family research: Puzzles, progress, paradigms, and policy implications

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172 Citations (Scopus)


The adoption of the open-door policy and economic reforms in China since the late 1970s have placed Chinese families, which have deep roots in traditional Chinese cultural values and Chinese socialist thoughts, under the strong influences of Western cultural values, market economy, and globalization. This article examines the puzzles intrinsic to Chinese family research and the related progress as highlighted by the articles in this special issue. Several issues regarding research paradigms in Chinese family research are identified, including quantitative versus qualitative approach, cross-sectional versus longitudinal study, simple versus complex statistical analyses, local versus comparative research, intuitive versus validated assessment tools, assessment based on single perspective versus multiple perspectives, and indigenous versus imported family concepts and theories. Finally, the question of how Chinese family research may inform public policies is discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-284
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Family Issues
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Chinese
  • Chinese family research
  • Families
  • Research issues

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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