Custodial Grandparents and Intergenerational Support in Rural China

  • Zhen CongEmail author
  • Merril Silverstein
Part of the Social Indicators Research Series book series (SINS, volume 47)


China has the world’s largest scale of internal migration because a surplus of rural labourers has forced working age adults to look for opportunities in cities (Cai 2006; Giles and Mu 2007). Rural migrants had high demands for childcare because of barriers to bringing their children with them, caused by high living and education expenses associated with Hukou (the household registration system, which separated rural and urban areas) (Bai and Song 2002; Li and Zahniser 2002; Wang and Fan 2006). Silverstein et al. (2006) found that about 20% of elders in a rural area with high migration rates lived in ‘skipped-generation’ households, taking the full custody of grandchildren, even though grandparents in China traditionally were not obliged to be the primary caregivers (Chao 1983; Secondi 1997).


Adult Child Filial Piety Migrant Child Emotional Closeness Intergenerational Relationship 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Human Development and Family StudiesTexas Tech UniversityLubbockUSA
  2. 2.Davis School of Gerontology and Department of SociologyUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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