The Impact of Eldercare on Adult Children’s Health and Employment in Transitional China

Abstract

This paper explores the content and extent of the burden of caregiving for Chinese families in transition. It sets out to understand how Chinese families manage to balance family caregiving responsibilities with employment, the impact of the existing social institutions on family caregiving practices, and the risks that caregivers have to face. Data were collected from a sample of 214 workers from 14 manufacturing companies in an industrialized city in central China in 2013. Analysis revealed that common types of eldercare were assisting with activities of daily living and medical related care; middle aged employed respondents were most likely to be the caregivers to older family members; financial and time demands of care were challenging for caregivers, but women with more education and a secure job responded to the pressure of care giving better than those with less education and insecure jobs. An absence of workplace policies to support family caregivers was reported to create insecure employment conditions among middle aged workers. The findings imply an urgent need for legislative action and workplace policy that support family caregiving in China.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Hukou status refers to the residency status of a Chinese citizen in the household registration system of the nation. The system categorizes the individual Chinese into either “rural” or “urban” residents where urban residents are advantaged over rural residents in benefiting from social resources such as education and employment opportunities. A detailed description of the Hukou system could be obtained from en.wikipedia.org.

  2. 2.

    In 2013 the average monthly income of the people in the area was 2790 Yuan. Source: The Bureau of Human Resource and Social Security of the City of Xiangyang (2014). Notice on the implementation of average annual salary standards for employees. Available from http://xfsb.xf.cn/publish/cbnews/201406/09/cb2422_1.shtml

  3. 3.

    See Table 2 for average monthly income. The average yearly income equals to the average monthly income multiplied by 12.

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Pei, X., Luo, H., Lin, Z. et al. The Impact of Eldercare on Adult Children’s Health and Employment in Transitional China. J Cross Cult Gerontol 32, 357–372 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10823-017-9330-8

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Keywords

  • Eldercare
  • Employment
  • Competing responsibilities
  • Stress
  • Social policy