A cross-cultural perspective: Perceptions and Attitudes of Anglo-Australians and Chinese Immigrants Ageing in Australia
3rd International Conference on Ageing in a Foreign Land, Adelaide, 24-26 June 2015 Dr Joanne (Tan) Soosai School of Psychology, University of Adelaide firstname.lastname@example.org
Population ageing the youngest of the Australian baby boomers (i.e.,
those born between 1946 and 1965, inclusive) set to turn 65 in 2031. People aged over 65 - projected to rise to 27 per cent
of the population by 2051. Australias changing ethnic profile Growing proportions of immigrants from India and Sri
Lanka, Lebanon, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, China, Hong Kong, South Africa, and New Zealand (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2012)
Chinese in contemporary Australia one of Australias top ten ancestries - 4 per cent of the
population (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2012).
Chinese Values, Traditions and Cultural Patterns: Confucianism and Filial Piety
Culture an integrated set of knowledge, beliefs, values, and behaviors shared by a group of people (Lai, 2010, p. 203)
Confucian values Role and position within the social order Self-identity, duty and responsibility
Filial piety Physical needs of parents Wishes and preferences of parents Honour and respect
Contrasting value systems
Collectivistic values Promote eldercare and
interdependence Co-residency Less accepting of formal
Individualistic values Emphasise self-
sufficiency and independence
Independent living More accepting of formal
Whether traditional values remain significant?
Significant social changes: Urbanisation, modernisation, industrialisation o Geographic relocation, employment and education
opportunities, more women joining the workforce, decease in family size.
Migration o Ageing Asian immigrants in Australia confronted with
two sets of values.
Acculturation oA process in which individuals from one cultural group
embrace the beliefs and follows the values of a different cultural group over a period of time.
Increasing need for research into the needs and attitudes of the Chinese community ageing in Australia. The way in which migration plays a role in how
traditional roles and responsibilities are practiced and expressed.
Whether filial piety has eroded following migration, as
the values and practices of the new country are adopted.
Aims: To investigate attitudes and beliefs towards ageing and
well-being within the context of successful ageing; and To explore the needs and expectations within the
context of filial piety among Anglo-Australians and Chinese immigrants.
Overview: Studies 1 and 2
Study One qualitative Semi-structured
interviews (N = 21)
11 Anglo-Australians (M = 69.8 years) 10 Chinese-Australians (M = 59.9 years)
Study Two quantitative Questionnaires (N = 268)
152 Anglo-Australians (M = 67.1 years) 116 Chinese-Australians (M = 64.7 years) 68 English speaking (M = 61.4 years) 48 Chinese speaking (M = 69.5 years)
Characteristics of the sample Study One 21 Participants: Born between 1927 and 1950 M = 65.10 years (range 55 to 78) 9 males (42.9%) and 12 females (57.1%) 11 Anglo-Australians 1 widowed, 3 divorced, 7 married 10 Chinese-Australians: All were married Arrived in Australia between 1964 and 1992 Arrival age: M = 34.30 years Length of residency: M = 25.7 years
Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA)
(Smith, J.A ) IPA Procedures: Transcripts were read and re-read Themes identified and labeled Themes were clustered A summary table produced (Super-ordinate, core & sub-themes)
Future care plans Lack of Planning
Chinese-Australians: General and vague plans Lack of planning was attributed to their current active
lifestyle (CA16, 59 years old and CA21, 67 years old). Appropriate finance (CA14, 56 years old and CA20, 55
Future care plans
Anglo-Australians: Have either started considering options to aid them with
planning for the future or had begun to made plans for old age. Funeral options or have paid for it Downsizing Prepared legal documents e.g EPOA, will
More proactive autonomy and control over their own future.
Environmental mastery: Independence, self-sufficiency and control
Future care preferences
Ageing in place o Preference to live in their own homes for as long as
possible. o Preference for progressive care
Openness to Formal Care and Quality of Care Anglo-Australians: Professionalism of aged care facilities Positive perceptions of formal care.
Future care preferences Openness to Formal Care and Quality of Care
More mixed in their attitudes.
Do not intend to rely on their children in old age.
Differences in choice of aged care facility: Preference for mainstream aged care facility CA7, 16 years in Aust, 26% of life in Aust; CA15, 39 years in Aust, 70% of life in Aust.
Preference for a facility that is culture-specific Be with people of the same cultural background (CA12, 41 years
in Aust, 70% of life in Aust) Good Chinese food (CA21, 40 years in Aust, 60% of life in Aust)
Future care preferences
Chinese-Australians: Differences in the type of support from family.
Contact and interaction with their children more important than physical and financial support.
Parents should expect all forms of care and support from their children. (CA16, 27 years in Aust, 46% of life in Aust) (CA18, 20 years in Aust, 32% of life in Aust)
Children are not obligated. (CA19, 17 years in Aust, 30% of life in Aust)
Study Two - Quantitative Attitudes towards future care
Percentage of participants who indicated yes
Item AA All-CA ES CA CS CA I intend to rely on my children in old age***^
6.3 19.6 10.8 33.3
Elderly people should live with their children...***
4.8 33 32.8 33.3
Elderly people should live in an aged care facility...*
89.7 78 76.2 80.4
Note: AA: Anglo-Australian, All CA = English speaking and Chinese speaking combined, ESCA: English speaking Chinese-Australians, CSCA: Chinese speaking Chinese-Australians, Chi-square significance level between AA and All CA at: *p
Conclusion, Policy Implications and Future Directions
Different degrees of adherence to the traditional value of filial piety.
Future care of the elderly by the family cannot be assumed nor guaranteed simply on the basis of their collectivist beliefs.
Platform for future studies on other emerging ethnic communities.
Tan, J., Ward, L., & Ziaian, T. (2011). Comparing definitions of successful ageing: The case of Anglo- and Chinese-Australians. Electronic Journal of Applied Psychology, 7(1), 15-21.
Tan, J., Ward, L., & Ziaian, T. (2010). Experiences of
Chinese Immigrants and Anglo-Australians Ageing in Australia: A Cross-cultural Perspective on Ageing Well. Journal of Health Psychology, 15(5), 697-706.
A cross-cultural perspective: Perceptions and Attitudes of Anglo-Australians and Chinese Immigrants Ageing in AustraliaBackgroundChinese Values, Traditions and Cultural Patterns: Confucianism and Filial PietyContrasting value systemsWhether traditional values remain significant?PhD Thesis PhD ThesisOverview: Studies 1 and 2Characteristics of the sampleMethodologyAnalytic FrameworkQualitative ResultsFuture care plansFuture care preferencesFuture care preferencesFuture care preferencesStudy Two - QuantitativeAttitudes towards future careConclusion, Policy Implications and Future DirectionsPublished Papers