Sources of Intergenerational Conflict in Chinese Immigrant Families in the United States

Man Guo, Amy Lemke, Xinqi Dong

Publication Date: 09/14/2021

Studies of family relations have not kept pace with the acceleration of international migration. To address this gap, this study relied on a survey of 545 Chinese immigrants in Chicago who reported information of 869 older parents to examine the sources of intergenerational conflict in five domains: norms/values, relationship itself, money, health, and parenting. The results of logistic regression showed that maintaining one’s traditional culture, in the form of endorsing a sense of filial obligation, was a significant protective factor against all types of conflict. Immigrants with a higher level of acculturation were more likely to report conflict regarding norms/values and relationship itself, but not more so regarding practical issues such as health, money, and parenting. Helping parents with ADLs, not IADLs, was associated with more conflict regarding monetary and health issues. Immigrants’ greater sense of mastery was associated with a lower chance of reporting norm/value-related intergenerational conflict.