Predictors of Attitudes about Support in Later Life among Rural Chinese

Yue Zhuo, University at Albany, State University of New York

Traditionally, people in rural China prefer to depend on their children, particularly their son, in their old age. Children are social and economic resources for the elderly. However, China's birth control policy has greatly challenged the traditional support arrangements in later life, and therefore has influenced stated support preferences. These attitudes have, in turn, affected compliance with the birth control policy. In this paper, I compare attitudes about support in later life among rural Chinese in households that have illegal children (non-compliant households) and in households that do not have any illegal children (compliant households). I find that non-compliant household members prefer to depend on sons more so than compliant household members. Compliant household members prefer to depend on self/spouse and government more than non-compliant household members. Different attitudes are also found across age, gender, and educational attainment.

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Presented in Session 12: Generational Exchanges and Relationships