Family support and preparation for future care needs among urban Chinese baby boomers

Yajun Song, Silvia Sörensen, Elsie C.W. Yan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Little is reported about the family's role in preparation for future care (PFC) before the onset of care needs. The primary aim was to examine the relationships between PFC and different types of family support exchanged with generations both above and below. Method: Path analysis was conducted on 516 Chinese baby boomers aged 45-65 to examine the associations between PFC (care expectation, awareness, information gathering, and decision making) and 4 types of family support (instrumental support, financial assistance, information and appraisal, and emotional support) when the covariates were controlled for. Results: The current planning status and planning paths are consistent with those of the U.S. and European populations. Providing instrumental support to a parent was positively associated with awareness of care needs. Providing emotional support to a child was negatively associated with information gathering. In general, receiving support from a child facilitated PFC. Although those receiving emotional support from an adult child had less awareness of care needs, they displayed more information gathering. Discussion: The role of family support in PFC is more subtle than simply increasing and decreasing resource volumes. Future research is needed to better understand this complexity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1066-1076
Number of pages11
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Elder care preparation
  • Family support exchange
  • Parents of only-children

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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