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Open Access Family structure and support for the oldest old: A cross-sectional study in Dujiangyan, China

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Objective: In China, adult children have traditionally provided support for their aged parents. This model of care is increasingly challenged by the decline of the extended family. Recently, China’s decades-long one-child policy has eased. We examine the association of family size and composition with family support for nonagenarians and centenarians.

Methods: Data were obtained through a questionnaire survey of 619 nonagenarians and centenarians in Dujiangyan and were analyzed by chi-square tests, Student t tests, and multivariate logistic regression models.

Results: This study revealed that an increased number of offspring might provide financial support for older people, but this does not necessarily translate into physical and emotional care.

Conclusion: It is clear that although alternative sources of support for older people are increasingly needed, in China the family will continue to play an important role in supporting older people.

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Keywords: China; Oldest old; family structure; family support

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2015-12-01

More about this publication?
  • Family Medicine and Community Health (FMCH) is an open-access journal focusing on subjects that are common and relevant to family medicine/general practice and community health. The journal publishes relevant content across disciplines such as epidemiology, public health, social and preventive medicine, research and evidence based medicine, community health service, patient education and health promotion and health ethics. The journal has a specific focus on the management of chronic illness particularly diabetes, ischaemic heart disease, chronic heart failure, hypertension, bronchial asthma, chronic obstructive airways disease and common mental illness. FMCH is published by Compuscript http://www.compuscript.com on behalf of the Chinese General Practice Press http://www.chinagp.net.

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