A Vignette Study on Gendered Filial Expectations of Elders in Rural China

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32 Scopus citations


This investigation integrated vignette and survey design to study how sons' reduced availability and daughters' increased contributions to parents influenced Chinese rural elders' gendered filial expectations, measured with their beliefs about obligations of a vignette daughter and a vignette son to their postsurgery parent. The sample included 802 elders from 2001, 2003, and 2006 waves of a longitudinal study on rural elders in Anhui Province, China. Multinomial logistic regressions showed that the vignette sons' migration and actual daughters' previous contributions increased elder women's, but not men's, endorsement of the vignette daughter's obligations. The vignette son's child-care responsibilities affected neither women's nor men's beliefs, but the vignette daughters' migration and child-care responsibilities reduced respondents' expectations of the vignette daughter. This study directs attention to the discrepancy between social changes and individuals' attitudes because of structural lags as well as to the importance of examining factors that will reduce the discrepancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)510-525
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Marriage and Family
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Asian/Pacific Islander families
  • Caregiving
  • Culture
  • Family roles
  • Intergenerational relations
  • Social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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