Living Arrangement, Intergenerational Support, and Life Satisfaction in Japan, Mainland China and Taiwan

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 9:15 AM
Room: Harbor Lounge A
Oral Presentation
Ying-Ling Amy HSIAO , Fu-Jen Catholic University, New Taipei City, Taiwan
The unique style of coresidence in East Asia is a three-generation household. This is not only strongly endorsed by cultural values with emphasis on respect for parents, but this also forms a basis for promoting intergenerational exchanges between older parents and adult children. There are three main questions to be answered in this study. First, how does living arrangement influence material and instrumental support between generations? Second, does this influence vary by countries in East Asia? Finally, what are the relations between living arrangement, intergenerational support and individuals’ life satisfaction?

In this study, we used data from 2006 of the East Asia Social Survey. Results show that coresident children in these three countries tended to provide more support to older parents and also receive more support from older parents. Older parents who lived with children tended to give more support to children; however, coresident parents in Taiwan received less support from children than parents who didn’t live with children.

Results from logistic regression models suggest that while living with own parents does not appear to affect adult children’s life satisfaction in these three countries, greater giving support to own parents was associated with a higher level of life satisfaction of female adults in Mainland China and male adults in Taiwan. Japanese males who didn’t live with father-in-law and who contributed more support to in-laws tended to be more satisfied with life. Taiwanese females who didn’t live in the same neighborhood with mother-in-law were likely to be more satisfied with life. Furthermore, males in Mainland China who lived in the same neighborhood with their adult children tended to be more satisfied with life. While living arrangement was not associated with life satisfaction of older parents in Taiwan, receiving more support from their adult children would facilitate life satisfaction of older parents.