a1 Centre on Aging & Department of Sociology, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
a2 Department of Sociology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada.
This paper examines the relationship between attitudes of filial responsibility and five different types of care-giving behaviours to parents among three cultural groups. It does so within an assessment of the relative importance of cultural versus structural factors for care-giving behaviours. Face-to-face interviews were conducted with 100 Caucasian-Canadians, 90 Chinese-Canadians and 125 Hong Kong-Chinese. Multiple regression analyses assessed the association of cultural and structural factors with behaviours among the total sample and each of the three cultural groups. Limited support was found for an association between care-giving attitudes and care-giving behaviours. Attitudes are related to emotional support only among the two Chinese groups as well as to financial support among Chinese-Canadian respondents and to companionship among Hong Kong-Chinese respondents. Attitudes are not the strongest predictors and are unrelated to assistance with basic and instrumental activities of daily living. However, cultural group per se is a strong predictor of care-giving behaviours as are: parental ill health, living arrangements, and relationship quality. This study suggests gerontological assumptions about the role of societal norms and personal attitudes in parental care-giving should be questioned. It also suggests the need for further inquiry into unpacking those aspects of ‘cultural group’ that are related to behavioural differences, and the importance of examining multiple types of care-giving behaviours and of distinguishing task-oriented helping behaviour from other types of assistance.
(Accepted July 21 2011)
(Online publication October 17 2011)
c1 Address for correspondence: Neena L. Chappell, Centre on Aging & Department of Sociology, University of Victoria, PO Box 1700 STN CSC, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada V8W 2Y2. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org