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The Changing Meaning of Family Support Among Older Chinese and Korean Immigrants

TitleThe Changing Meaning of Family Support Among Older Chinese and Korean Immigrants
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsWong, ST, Yoo, GJ, Stewart, AL
JournalThe Journals of Gerontology: Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social SciencesThe Journals of Gerontology: Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Volume1
PaginationS4-S9
Date PublishedJan
ISBN Number1079-5014<br/>1758-5368
Accession NumberPeer Reviewed Journal: 2006-20522-010
Keywords*Expectations, *Family Relations, *Immigration, *Social Support, Aging, Attitude Change, Chinese Cultural Groups, family support, older Chinese immigrants, older Korean immigrants, family social-support expectations, changing expectations, United States, Gerontology [2860], Human Male Female Adulthood (18 yrs & older) Middle Age (40-64 yrs) Aged (65 yrs & older) Very Old (85 yrs & older), Korean Cultural Groups, us
AbstractObjective: Our objective in this study was to examine how family social-support expectations have changed among older Chinese and Korean U.S. immigrants. Methods: Fifty-two Cantonese- and Korean-speaking immigrants older than 60 years participated in eight focus groups. Transcripts were translated into English. Themes were developed based on a coding structure and compared to past research. Results: Participants discussed changed perspectives of family social support and the need to integrate both American and Chinese or Korean culture, thus becoming bicultural. Three distinct perspectives of family emerged: (1) participants felt they had become peripheral family members, (2) parents were no longer authority figures in families, and (3) participants were more independent. Finally, participants described how factors such as a changed economic environment, living alone, and extending their social network beyond family, promoted a move to biculturalism. Discussion: These results suggest that the integration of two cultures, or biculturalism, is an indicator of successful adaptation to immigration later in life; older Chinese and Korean immigrants are adjusting to living in the United States and blending multiple cultures simultaneously. Thus, acculturation frameworks implying a linear process may not be theoretically valid as ethnic identity, particularly for those who immigrate to different countries, changes over the life course. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved) (journal abstract).
Ethno Med: