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Intergenerational ambivalence and caring for Chinese American elderly

TitleIntergenerational ambivalence and caring for Chinese American elderly
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsWu, H-S
UniversityWu, Ho-Shyuan: Pacific Graduate School Of Psychology, US
Accession NumberDissertation Abstract: 2003-95004-151
Keywords*Ambivalence, *Caregivers, *Chinese Cultural Groups, *Elder Care, *Intergenerational Relations, Health & Mental Health Treatment & Prevention [3300], Human Adulthood (18 yrs & older), intergenerational ambivalence, elder caregiving, Chinese Americans
AbstractThe purpose of this study was to explore intergenerational ambivalence in caregiving of Chinese American elderly. In the first wave of data collection, 186 Chinese American adult participants completed a demographic questionnaire, the Cultural Beliefs and Behaviors Adaptation Profile (CBBAP: Shiang, Bogumill, Kalehzan, Bissiri, & Benet, 1998), the Suinn-Lew Asian Self-Identity Acculturation Scale (SL-ASIA: Suinn, Rickard-Figueroa, Lew, & Vigil, 1987), the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI: Beck, Steer, & Garbin, 1988), the Chinese Depression Inventory (CDI: Zheng & Lin, 1991), and the Symptom Checklist 90 (SCL-90: Derogatis, 1992). In the second wave of data collection, 17 participants were interviewed and completed Pillemer's (2000) Direct and Latent Measures of Ambivalence, a family relations genogram, and four vignettes describing intergenerational living, family conflict, elderly immigration, and dementia and late life issues. Statistical analyses and Glazer and Strauss' (1967) grounded theory method were employed in data analysis. Results indicate that intergenerational ambivalence does exist in Chinese American families. Care receivers and caregivers can hold positive and negative perceptions at the same time. Ambivalence was demonstrated by participants' significant discrepancies between care beliefs and behaviors, endorsement of "torn and conflicted" feelings toward family members, and their descriptions of ambivalent themes for vignette characters. In addition, intergenerational ambivalence generated stress in the interview participants and different types of distress were described for each ambivalent vignette character. Acculturation had a moderating effect on psychological distress. For participants with children (N = 73), significant discrepancies were found between care beliefs and behaviors for their own care by their children. These participants also demanded more of themselves in respect to care for their aging parents, but did not expect their children to do the same for them. These discrepancies were negatively correlated with measures of distress suggesting adaptive flexibility. Furthermore, vignette results suggest that acculturation influences the type of psychological distress experienced by the ambivalent family members. Case examples are presented and clinical implications are discussed including psychotherapy and social service interventions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).
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