Association of Filial Responsibility, Ethnicity, and Acculturation of Family Caregivers of Older Adults
Miyawaki, Christina Eiko
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With the growing numbers of Asian and Hispanic elder immigrants and their family caregivers, there is a need to understand their caregiving concerns. Researchers have identified that 1st generation immigrant caregivers face care challenges due to cultural differences and extent of acculturation to the host country. However, potential changes in level of filial responsibility and caregiving attitudes among later generations of caregivers have not been examined, which is the focus of this dissertation. Using the 2009 California Health Interview Survey, the first paper describes the characteristics of Asian, Hispanic and non-Hispanic White American family caregivers of older adults in California. Second generation Asians and Hispanics were the youngest while 2nd generation non-Hispanic Whites were the oldest caregivers. Asian and non-Hispanic White caregivers attained a higher education level than Hispanics, but Asian and Hispanic caregivers' educational attainment increased in later generations. The vast majority self-rated their health as good, but the later the generation of Asian and Hispanic caregivers, the poorer their health status. The second paper examines caregiving attitudes and practices among the same racial and ethnic caregiver groups across generations. Based on Gordon's assimilation theory, respite care use, caregiving hours and duration were compared across the three groups. Non-Hispanic White caregivers showed less caregiving involvement in later generations. However, 3rd generation Asian and Hispanic caregivers used respite care the least and spent the most hours and length of care compared to earlier generations, which reveals cultural values of filial responsibility among later generations. The final paper compares filial responsibility among 2nd, 2.5 and 3rd generations of 40 Chinese- and Japanese-American caregivers. The Suinn-Lew Asian Self Identity Acculturation scale and the Filial Values Index measured caregivers' acculturation and filial responsibility levels; these identified later generation caregivers with higher acculturation and filial responsibility scores, indicating a strong sense of filial responsibility among 3rd generation caregivers. Qualitative interviews showed similar patterns of continued caregiving involvement even after the placement of their loved ones in a long-term care facility. Future research includes analyzing more in-depth the reasons and motivations for later generation caregivers' high level of filial caregiving involvement.