Wu, Yikun (2010)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
Little research to date has focused on personal accounts of psychological aspects of the aging process of elders and their relationship with adult-children in an urban Chinese setting. The present study aimed to explore such aspects in Chinese elders. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 3 varied samples of elders (aged 70 to 87), with those living with their family (study 1), those in a residential setting (study 2) and those in a sheltered community (study 3). Grounded Theory, was used as the method for data collection and analysis, and in addition to the interviews, focus groups and a written account also provided data. The overarching theme of “family communication” was highlighted in the studies, reflecting the central position of participants’ concerns with their relationship with adult-children, and their understanding of their roles in the family. The variety of responses seemed to be connected with whether the person was self-reliant or dependant as well as with individual personality. The study’s findings suggest that this small sample of older people in a large urban city in China generally live closely with their families and take great pride in retaining their independence and supporting families and friends.
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