Psychological well-being of Chinese Immigrant adult-child caregivers: how do filial expectation, self-rated filial performance, and filial discrepancy matter?

Jinyu Liu, Bei Wu, Xinqi Dong

Publish Year: 2019

Background: Given the importance of ethnic culture in family caregiving and recent Chinese immigrant population growth, this study explored effects of multiple filial piety traits—filial expectation, self-rated filial performance, and filial discrepancy—on psychological well-being of Chinese immigrants who care for older parents (adult-child caregivers) in the United States.

Methods: This study used cross-sectional data from 393 Chinese immigrant adult-child caregivers in the Greater Chicago area from the 2012–2014 Piety study. Multivariate negative binomial and linear regression analyses tested effects of filial expectation, self-rated filial performance, overall filial discrepancy, and discrepancies in six filial domains (respect, bringing happiness, care, greeting, obedience, and financial support) on psychological well-being indicators: depressive symptoms and stress.

Results: Adult-child caregivers reported high filial expectation and self-rated performance, and expectation was higher than performance. High filial expectation and self-rated performance were significantly associated with better psychological well-being; Overall filial discrepancy and two emotional-support domain discrepancies (respect, greeting) were associated with poor psychological well-being. Conclusions: Findings suggest that filial expectation, self-rated filial performance, and filial discrepancy are important in shaping Chinese adult-child caregivers’ psychological well-being. Researchers and practitioners should incorporate these aspects of filial piety in future research and intervention development for this population.