Intergenerational social support and the psychological well-being of older parents in China

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292 Scopus citations


This study explores the relationship between intergenerational social support and the psychological well-being of older Chinese parents. Effects of structural, functional, emotional, and appraisal social support on older Chinese parents' well-being were tested by analyzing data collected from a random sample of 3,039 persons aged 55 and over who participated in the 1992 baseline survey of the Beijing Multidimensional Longitudinal Study on Aging (BMLSOA). Multiple regression is used to determine whether intergenerational exchanges of social support influence older parents' morale. Findings reveal that providing instrumental support to children and satisfaction with children directly improve parents' well-being. The benefits of receiving support from children are fully mediated by parents' satisfaction with their children. The positive effects of providing functional support are magnified among parents who adhere to more traditional norms regarding family support. The results suggest that the psychological benefits of intergenerational support exchanges should not be ignored when developing elder care policy in China.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-65
Number of pages23
JournalResearch on Aging
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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