Children’s Divorce and their Financial Support to Older Parents in Rural China

Zhen Cong, Yaolin Pei, Merril Silverstein, Shuzhuo Li, Bei Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examined how adult children’s divorce affected their financial support to older parents in rural China and how that relationship was dependent on children’s gender. The sample was from rural Anhui Province and the working sample included 1629 older parents who reported their interactions with 6210 children across six waves of observations in 14 years (2001–2015). Generalized Estimating Equations showed that divorced sons provided less financial support to their parents than married sons. In contrast, divorced daughters did not necessarily provide less financial support than married daughters. This gender difference was statistically significant. The findings were discussed in the context of changing rural Chinese families, where the norm of filial piety is still strong but patrilineal tradition and gender ideology have experienced desynchronized changes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-132
Number of pages14
JournalResearch on Aging
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2023


  • China
  • divorce
  • gender
  • intergenerational relations
  • patrilineal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


Dive into the research topics of 'Children’s Divorce and their Financial Support to Older Parents in Rural China'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this