Adult Children’s Successes and Problems for Aging Parents’ Well-being: A Comparison of One-Child Families and Multiple-Children Families in China

Haowei Wang , University of Massachusetts Boston
Sae Hwang Han, University of Massachusetts Boston
Kyungmin Kim, University of Massachusetts Boston
Jeffrey A. Burr, University of Massachusetts Boston

This study examined the associations between adult children’s successes and problems and aging parents’ well-being in China. We used the 2014 wave of the Chinese Longitudinal Aging and Social Survey. Older adults (aged 60–113, N = 6,946) reported on their well-being (life satisfaction and depressive symptoms), and successes and problems about each of their adult children (marital status, employment status, financial status, education attainment, occupational prestige, and home ownership). OLS regression models were estimated for parents with one child and multiple children, separately. For older parents with multiple children, having one child with any problem was associated with poorer well-being; having one successful child was associated with fewer depressive symptoms, but not with life satisfaction. For parents with one child, their life satisfaction was associated with the presence and the total number of child’s problems; they had better life satisfaction and fewer depressive symptoms when the child had more successes.

See extended abstract

 Presented in Session 4. Marriage, Family, Households, & Unions