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Title: Living Experiences, Intercultural Stressors, Social Support, Family Cohesion, and Emotional Well-Being of Chinese Sojourning Grandparents in the U.S.
Physical Description: 1 online resource (119 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Wu, Li
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2008

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: being, chinese, cohesion, family, filial, grandparents, intercultural, piety, social, sojourning, stressor, support, us, well
Family, Youth and Community Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Family, Youth and Community Sciences thesis, M.S.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: Rearing grandchildren is a cultural imperative for Chinese grandparents and takes place in a multigenerational context. Chinese grandparents live with their adult children and aid in rearing grandchildren out of obligation, love, and sense of duty. A mixed-methods study was conducted to explore the stressors for Chinese grandparents sojourning to the U.S., the ways they coped, and their well-being while living abroad. The ABC-X family stress model served as the theory frame. The subjects of this study were 30 grandparents living in apartment complexes near a state university. The study hypothesized that grandparents who scored higher on intercultural stressors, lower on family cohesion and lower social support would have lower levels of well-being. The study also compared paternal and maternal grandparents, and grandfathers and grandmothers, on these independent and dependent variables. The results of the quantitative data analysis indicated that family cohesion was an important predictor of well-being but that intercultural stressors and social support were not significantly related to well being. Regarding gender differences, grandfathers had higher levels of social support than grandmothers. However, there were no differences between maternal grandparents and paternal grandparents. The results of in-depth interviews brought out other factors related to intercultural stressors and well-being. Additionally, the qualitative findings showed that grandparents played important care giving roles, not only for their grandchildren, but for their adult children as well, as they pursue advanced degrees in the U.S. Chinese sojourners in the U.S. still maintain traditional family values, such as family cohesion and filial piety, these findings are discussed in the context of Chinese kinship systems.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Li Wu.
Thesis: Thesis (M.S.)--University of Florida, 2008.
Local: Adviser: Smith, Suzanna D.
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO UF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE UNTIL 2010-08-31

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2008
System ID: UFE0022276:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0022276/00001

Material Information

Title: Living Experiences, Intercultural Stressors, Social Support, Family Cohesion, and Emotional Well-Being of Chinese Sojourning Grandparents in the U.S.
Physical Description: 1 online resource (119 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Wu, Li
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2008

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: being, chinese, cohesion, family, filial, grandparents, intercultural, piety, social, sojourning, stressor, support, us, well
Family, Youth and Community Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Family, Youth and Community Sciences thesis, M.S.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: Rearing grandchildren is a cultural imperative for Chinese grandparents and takes place in a multigenerational context. Chinese grandparents live with their adult children and aid in rearing grandchildren out of obligation, love, and sense of duty. A mixed-methods study was conducted to explore the stressors for Chinese grandparents sojourning to the U.S., the ways they coped, and their well-being while living abroad. The ABC-X family stress model served as the theory frame. The subjects of this study were 30 grandparents living in apartment complexes near a state university. The study hypothesized that grandparents who scored higher on intercultural stressors, lower on family cohesion and lower social support would have lower levels of well-being. The study also compared paternal and maternal grandparents, and grandfathers and grandmothers, on these independent and dependent variables. The results of the quantitative data analysis indicated that family cohesion was an important predictor of well-being but that intercultural stressors and social support were not significantly related to well being. Regarding gender differences, grandfathers had higher levels of social support than grandmothers. However, there were no differences between maternal grandparents and paternal grandparents. The results of in-depth interviews brought out other factors related to intercultural stressors and well-being. Additionally, the qualitative findings showed that grandparents played important care giving roles, not only for their grandchildren, but for their adult children as well, as they pursue advanced degrees in the U.S. Chinese sojourners in the U.S. still maintain traditional family values, such as family cohesion and filial piety, these findings are discussed in the context of Chinese kinship systems.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Li Wu.
Thesis: Thesis (M.S.)--University of Florida, 2008.
Local: Adviser: Smith, Suzanna D.
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO UF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE UNTIL 2010-08-31

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2008
System ID: UFE0022276:00001


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LIVING EXPERIENCES, INTERCULTURAL STRESSORS, SOCIAL SUPPORT, FAMILY
COHESION, AND EMOTIONAL WELL-BEING OF CHINESE SOJOURNING
GRANDPARENTS IN THE U.S.





















By

LI WU















A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF SCIENCE


UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

2008



































2008 Li Wu































This thesis is dedicated to Chinese grandparents, who tirelessly devote their time and energy
caring for their families.









ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

It would have been impossible to complete this research without the support and

encouragement of many people. First of all, I would like to think to my committee members, Dr.

Suzanna Smith, Dr. Kate Fogarty and Dr. Chuan-Kang Shih, for all their contributions to my

thesis. I am so thankful to Dr. Smith, my committee chair who guided me through the whole

process and spent a tremendous amount of time reading and revising several drafts. Without her

wisdom and patience, I would not have completed my thesis. I would like to thank Dr. Fogarty

for her kindness and personal guidance. I also thank Dr. Shih for setting an excellent example for

doing research on Chinese people with his devotion to his research participants, and for

contributing his deep understanding of Chinese kinship systems.

A lot of thanks go to my family members, my parents, my parents-in-law and my brother. I

thank them for their unconditional love and continuous support. Particularly, I want to thank my

husband, Zuhui Chen, who always encouraged me to complete my graduate studies and is always

with me in his heart even when we are not together. I am thankful for his love, and also for the

affection of my son, Aden Chen.

Many thanks go to the participants in my study. Their willingness to share experiences and

feelings with me made me feel my goal was beyond completing my thesis; I needed make their

life known by others.

Special thanks go to Professor Chih-tang Sah, my husband's Ph. D supervisor. I thank him

for his support for my family. There are so many people I want to thank. I am grateful to my

friends from Gainesville Chinese Christian Church. They give me a lot of emotional and

instrumental support. Lastly, I thank God for my many blessings.









TABLE OF CONTENTS



A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S ..............................................................................................................4

L IST O F T A B L E S ......................................................................................................... ........ .. 8

LIST OF FIGURES ...................................................... .9

A B S T R A C T .......................................................................................................... ..................... 10

CHAPTER

1 INTRODUCTION ............................................... ..................................... 12

Purpose of the Study .............................................. ............................. 14
Research Question ................. ................... .. .......... ..................................... 14
H y p oth eses ............................................................................................................. ....... .. 15
Definition of Terms .............................................. ............................. 15
Intercultural Stressors .... .. ...... ............. ............................................................ .. 15
S o cial S u p p o rt ................................................................................................................ 16
F am ily C o h e sio n .............................................................................................................. 16
W e ll-B e in g ................ ............................................ .... ................................................ ... 1 7
Chinese Sojourning G randparents..................................... ...................... ............... 17
L im stations ..................................................................................................... 17
Significance of the Study ............. .. .................. .................. ............ .......... .. ... ........... 18

2 L ITE R A TU R E R E V IE W .............. ..................................................................... 20

Why Chinese Grandparents are Involved in Rearing Grandchildren...............................21
Chinese Sojourning Elders in the U.S. and Intercultural Stressors..............................25
Intergenerational Relationships in the Context of Co-Residence...............................27
Reference: U. S. Grandparents Rearing Grandchildren .............................................30
T theoretical Fram ew ork .................................................................. .. ... ..............1. 1
A B C -X F am ily Stress T heory .................................................................. .. ................ 3 1
Stress, Social Support and Buffering Hypothesis....................................... ................ 33
Circumplex Model of Marital and Family Systems ..................................................34

3 M ETHODOLOGY ......... ........................... .. .......... .............................36

R e search D e sig n ..................................................................................................................... 3 6
D ata C collection .................................................................................................... ........... 36
Population and Sam ple Selection ...................................... ...................... ................ 36
P ro cedu re ....................................................................................................... ....... .. 3 7
Instrum entation .............................................................................. ........ ......... ............... 38
Intercultural stressors ................ .............. ............................................ 38
Social support index ............................. ........................................... 39









Family adaptability and cohesion evaluation scales ...........................................39
Philadelphia geriatric centre moral scale shouldn't this be in caps if it is a title
o f a sc a le ? ............................................................................................................. 4 0
D em graphic questions ........................................... ......................... ................ 40
In-depth interview ................................. ......... ...... ...............41
Instrument translation ........................................................................ 41
D ata A n a ly sis ................................................................................................................. .. 4 1

4 R E SU L T S ............................................................................................................. ........ .. 4 3

Sam ple D em graphics ..................................................... ............................................... 43
S statistic al A n aly sis................................................................................................................ .. 4 4
H ypotheses for Q uantitative Inquiry ....................................... ....................... ................ 45
Q u alitativ e R e su lts ................................................................................................................ .. 4 7
T heoretical B ased Them es .. .................................................................... ................ 47
Stressors of G randparents......................................... ........................ ................ 47
R sources .............. ....................................................................................... 53
Perspective to stressors and resources.................................................... 58
W ell-b ein g .................................................................... ........... ..... ... ................. 5 9
Emergent Themes-should this be a centered heading or is this where editorial
w a n ts it? ............. .... .... .... ..................................................................................... .... 6 0
R seasons for com ing to the U .S. ........................................................... ................ 60
G grandparents' responsibility ...................................... ...................... ................ 6 1
G ran dp parents' role .. ........................................................................ ...............62
O their factors related to w ell-being ...................................................... ................ 63
Sum m ary of the Q ualitative Findings....................................... ...................... ................ 68

5 D ISCU SSION AND CON CLU SION ...................................... ...................... ................ 82

Research Questions............... .......... ... ......... .... .. ...... .. ............... 82
RQ1 .What Are the Stressors of Chinese Co-resident Grandparents When They
Travel from China to the U.S. on a B-2 Visa, Live Together with Their Adult
Children and Are Involved in Rearing Grandchildren? ..........................................82
RQ2. To What Extent Do Intercultural Stressors, Social Support and Family
Cohesion in Explaining the Well-being of Chinese Co-resident Grandparents in
th e U .S ? .................... ................... ............................................................. ......... 8 2
RQ3. How Do Maternal Grandparents and Paternal Grandparents Differ in Their
Experiences of Intercultural Stressors, Social Support, Family Cohesion and
W ell-being? .................................... .. ... ....... ............ .. ..... .................................... 83
RQ4. How Do Grandmothers and Grandfathers Differ in Their Experiences of
Intercultural Stressors, Social Supports, Family Cohesion and Well-being? ..............83
RQ5. What Are Grandparents' Perspectives in Rearing grandchildren? ..................... 84
RQ6. What Are the Living experiences of Chinese grandparents in U.S?...................84
H y p o th e se s ............... .............................................................................................. ........ 8 5
Reflections on Findings in Relation to Previous Research................................................86









Stressors, R sources and W ell-being ......................................................... ................ 86
M aternal and Paternal G grandparents .......................................................... ................ 88
G randfathers and G randm others............................................................. .................... 89
Rethinking the Theory Frame and Introducing Other Theories .......................................... 90
A B C -X F am ily Stress Theory ......................................... ........................ ................ 90
O their T theory F ram es .............................. ..................................... ...... .... 9 1
Rethinking D ata from M multicultural Lens .................................................. ................ 93
R regarding C hinese culture ........................................ ....................... ................ 93
R regarding sojourning status ....................................... ...................... ................ 96
L im stations .......................................................................... ...... ..................... 98
M ethodological C onsiderations........................................ ....................... ................ 98
Recommendations for Future Research...... ........ ..................... 100
Im plications for P ractice... .................................................................................. 10 1

APPENDIX

A SELF-COMPLETED QUESTIONAIRE ................. .......... ......................103

B INTERVIEW QUESTIONS .............................. 109

L IST O F R E F E R E N C E S ............................................... ................................................ 111........

B IO G R A PH IC A L SK E T C H .................................................... ............................................. 119





























7









LIST OF TABLES


Table page

4-1 Intercultural stressors, social support, family cohesion and well-being summary
statistics........................................................................................................... ....... .. 7 7

4-2 Correlation and significance test results between well-being and intercultural
stressors, social support, and fam ily cohesion ............................................. ................ 77

4-3 Predictive power of intercultural stressors, social support and family cohesion on the
variance in grandparents' w ell-being............................................................ ................ 77

4-4 Multivariable linear regression model summary for independent and dependent
v ariab les ......................................................................................................... . ....... .. 7 7

4-5 Skewness and kurtosis of maternal grandparents and paternal grandparents in terms
of intercultural stressors, social support, family cohesion and well-being ........................78

4-6 Mann-Whitney U test: maternal grandparents and paternal grandparents on the
ranking of intercultural stressors, social support, family cohesion and well-being...........78

4-7 Skewness and kurtosis of grandfathers and grandmothers in terms of intercultural
stressors, social support, family cohesion and well-being...........................................78

4-8 Mann-Whitney U test: grandfathers and grandmothers on the ranking of intercultural
stressors, social support, family cohesion and well-being...........................................79

4-9 Them es and categories based on theory fram e ............................................. ................ 80

4-10 E m erged them es and categories......................................... ........................ ................ 81









LIST OF FIGURES


Figure page

3-1 Theoretical conceptualization of intercultural stressors, social support, family
cohesion and well-being of Chinese sojourning grandparents. ...................................35

4-1 Distribution of participants by age group ...................................................70

4-2 D distribution of participants by gender .......................................................... ................ 71

4-3 Proportion of paternal and maternal grandparents ................ ....................................72

4-4 Distribution of first grandchild's age excluding outlier................................................73

4-5 Distribution of participants' current living place..........................................................74

4-6 Distribution of adult children's household income.......................................................75

4-7 D distribution of grandparents' tim e in the U .S............................................... ................ 76









Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science

LIVING EXPERIENCES, INTERCULTURAL STRESSORS, SOCIAL SUPPORT, FAMILY
COHESION, AND EMOTIONAL WELL-BEING OF CHINESE SOJOURNING
GRANDPARENTS IN THE U.S.

By

Li Wu

May 2008

Chair: Suzanna D. Smith
Major: Family, Youth and Community Sciences

Rearing grandchildren is a cultural imperative for Chinese grandparents and takes place in

a multigenerational context. Chinese grandparents live with their adult children and aid in rearing

grandchildren out of obligation, love, and sense of duty. A mixed-methods study was conducted

to explore the stressors for Chinese grandparents sojourning to the U.S., the ways they coped,

and their well-being while living abroad. The ABC-X family stress model served as the theory

frame. The subjects of this study were 30 grandparents living in apartment complexes near a

state university. The study hypothesized that grandparents who scored higher on intercultural

stressors, lower on family cohesion and lower social support would have lower levels of well-

being. The study also compared paternal and maternal grandparents, and grandfathers and

grandmothers, on these independent and dependent variables. The results of the quantitative data

analysis indicated that family cohesion was an important predictor of well-being but that

intercultural stressors and social support were not significantly related to well being. Regarding

gender differences, grandfathers had higher levels of social support than grandmothers.

However, there were no differences between maternal grandparents and paternal grandparents.

The results of in-depth interviews brought out other factors related to intercultural stressors and









well-being. Additionally, the qualitative findings showed that grandparents played important care

giving roles, not only for their grandchildren, but for their adult children as well, as they pursue

advanced degrees in the U.S. Chinese sojourners in the U.S. still maintain traditional family

values, such as family cohesion and filial piety, these findings are discussed in the context of

Chinese kinship systems.









CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

Grandparents' routine involvement in rearing grandchildren is a common phenomenon

among Chinese family. The circumstances surrounding Chinese grandparents' involvement are

different than American grandparents who are more likely to serve as surrogate parents only

when adult children have problems such as child abuse, drug use, divorce, and mental illness

(Dolbin-MacNab, 2006). Rearing grandchildren is a tradition for Chinese grandparents that takes

place in a multigenerational context (Goh, 2006). Extended family that includes elder parents,

their unmarried children, married sons and the daughters-in-law living together was the typical

form of Chinese family structure before the revolution in 1949 (Goh, 2006). In this structure,

Chinese grandparents were naturally involved in caring for grandchildren. Although the extended

family is almost disappearing, the stem family with at least one parent living with one married

child and his or her family is still an important family form in modem China (Wang, 2006). Stem

families represent 16 percent of families in urban China and 25 percent in rural areas (Wang,

2006). Housing shortages and the need for help with child caring are important reasons for co-

residence (Zhang, 2004).

The practice of Chinese grandparents caring for grandchildren is rooted in Chinese culture.

The collective culture values familism, which emphasizes kinship relations of extended family

members and intergenerational family ties (Feldman, Mont-Reynaud & Rosenthal, 1992; Mjelde-

Mossey, Chi & Lou, 2006; Wu & Tseng, 1985). The family is the primary union of Chinese

society that meets individual needs, without assistance from non-kinship groups, and there is

strong emotional ties and mutual dependency among family members (Hsu, 1972). With

familism as a guiding principle of Chinese life, Chinese grandparents have a strong obligation to









help caring for grandchildren. They also care for grandchildren out of love as they regarded it as

a way of enjoying "family happiness" to be with grandchildren (Sheng & Settles, 2006).

Chinese adult children who migrate to a new country for study or work still keep the norm

of inviting their parents to assist in raising grandchildren (Da, 2003). When Chinese

grandparents come to a new country, they face a whole array of circumstances they wouldn't

encounter while fulfilling their grandparent roles in China, including sojourning adaptation, loss

of their former social network, and unfamiliarity with lifestyles in a new country. We would

expect these to affect the well-being of Chinese grandparents, but because of lack of research on

this topic the sojourning experiences and family adjustment are largely unclear.

For example, while Chinese grandparents may feel enjoyment from a reunion with their

adult children, there is much potential for conflict. Grandparents are likely to have different

values or living habits from adult children based on generational and situational differences, and

conflicts may result. Furthermore, conflict between a mother-in-law and daughter-in-law, a noted

ongoing issue for Chinese Families (Davis-Friedmann, 1991; Wolf, 1968) is likely to also

emerge in a cross-cultural setting.

Although Chinese grandparents would seem to play an important role in grandchild-

rearing, even traveling great distances to support their families, there is little research on Chinese

co-resident grandparents in their homeland (Falbo, 1991; Goh, 2006) or in a foreign country (Da,

2003). The focus of Falbo's work was on grandparents' impact on grandchildren. Goh (2006)

examined intergenerational differences of opinion about raising grandchildren through

interviews with adult children and grandparents. Da (2003)'s work explored adult children's

views on Chinese grandparents' involvement in raising grandchildren in Australia, focusing on

Chinese cultural background and gender ideology as the reasons for Chinese grandparents'









involvement. Prior research has not investigated the well-being of Chinese grandparents as they

care for grandchildren, nor gender differences among Chinese grandparents in well-being thus

far. In particular, the living experiences and well-being of Chinese sojourning grandparents in a

new country and their roles in their immigrant families remains unexplored.

There is good reason to look at Chinese grandparents in the context of the United States.

According to Open Doors, the annual report on international educational exchange, mainland

China was the origin of the second largest number of international students studying in the U.S.,

experiencing a 8% increase in the year 2007 to nearly 68,000 Chinese students attending colleges

and universities in the U.S. (Institution of International Education, 2008). Although there are no

statistics on the portion of Chinese grandparents who in the U.S., it is likely that the number of

Chinese grandparents temporarily living in the U.S. to help care for grandchildren has also

increased. In these situations, grandparents are considered "sojourners", or temporary migrants,

rather than immigrants, or permanent migrants (Matsumoto et al, 2001).

Purpose of the Study

The primary purpose of the study was to further our understanding of Chinese sojourning

grandparents in the U.S by examining the roles, the experiences and well-being of Chinese

grandparents raising grandchildren in a new country and. Moreover, the study sought to find out

whether ABC-X family stress model applicable in a cross cultural content by exploring the

stressors Chinese grandparents experienced, ways they coped, and factors associated with their

well-being.

Research Question

The study addressed the following research questions regarding Chinese sojourning

grandparents caring temporarily for grandchildren in the U.S.









* RQ1 .What are stressors do Chinese sojourning grandparents face when they travel from
China to the U. S, live together with their adult children and are involved in rearing
grandchildren?

* RQ2. To what extent do intercultural stressors, social support and family cohesion explain
the well-being of Chinese co-resident grandparents in the U. S?

* RQ3. How do maternal grandparents and paternal grandparents differ in their experiences
of intercultural stressors, social support, family cohesion and well-being?

* RQ4. How do grandmothers and grandfathers differ in their experiences of stressors, social
support, family cohesion and well-being?

* RQ5. What are these grandparents' perspectives on rearing grandchildren?

* RQ6. What are the living experiences of Chinese grandparents in U.S?

Hypotheses

* H1A: Intercultural stressors, social support and family cohesion will be related to the well-
being of Chinese sojourning grandparents.

* 111: Intercultural stressors, social support, family cohesion and well-being will not be
related to the well-being of Chinese sojourning grandparents.

* H2A: Maternal grandparents will report higher levels family cohesion and wellbeing than
paternal grandparents and well-being.

* H2o: There will be no difference between maternal and paternal grandparents in levels of
family cohesion or well-being.

* H3A: Grandmothers will report higher levels of intercultural stressors, social support, and
well-being than grandfathers.

* H3o: There are no gender differences between grandmothers and grandfathers in their
reports of intercultural stressors, social support, and well-being.

Definition of Terms

Intercultural Stressors

The definition of intercultural stressors was based on the definition of acculturation

stressors. Acculturation refers to changes resulting from contact between two distinct cultures,

which is marked by physical and psychological changes required in "diet, climate, housing,

interactional styles, norms, and values to a new culture" (Nwadoria & McAdoo, 1996, p.477).









Acculturation stressors are the challenges or difficulties stemming from the differences between

a host culture and an incoming culture (Nwadoria & McAdoo, 1996). As the participants in this

study were just visiting, they probably did not have time to become acculturated, nor was it their

goal to become a part of the new culture. For these reasons, the term, acculturation, does not fit

well to sojourners. Instead, I chose the term, intercultural stressors, to refer to the challenges or

difficulties encountering a new culture.

Social Support

This research adopts the definition of social support from McCubbin, Patterson and

Glynn's (1982) Social Support Index (SSI), which evaluated the degree to which family

members are integrated into the community and view the community as a source of support.

Social support has the functions of "emotional support", "esteem support", "network support"

and "appraisal support" (Cooke, Rossmann, McCubbin & Patterson, 1988, p. 213). Emotional

support makes one feel loved or cared for; esteem support makes one feel valued and respected;

network support gives one a sense of belonging and security; appraisal support provides advice

for dealing with difficulties; and altruistic support makes one feel worthwhile for what he or she

does for other people. The sources of social support in this study include friends in the

community, community and church activities.

Family Cohesion

This research uses Olson, Russell & Sprenkle (1983)'s definition of family cohesion as

"the emotional bonding that family members have toward one another" (p.70). Family cohesion

in this study refers to this emotional attachment between Chinese grandparents and adult

children.









Well-Being

The psychological well-being of older adults has been widely studied by social and

psychological researchers in the past 40 years (Schwirian & Schwirian, 1993). The definition on

well-being involves two dimensions (Schwirian & Schwirian, 1993). Some researchers focus on

the dimension of life satisfaction (e. g., Neugarten, Havighuri & Tobin, 1961), while others focus

on people's satisfaction with themselves (e.g., Lawton, Kleban & diCarlo, 1984) (Schwirian &

Schwirian, 1993). The definition of well-being used here has incorporated both the dimension of

life satisfaction and an internal state. Specific criteria are described in the Methodology chapter.

Chinese Sojourning Grandparents

In this study, this term refers to Chinese grandparents holding B-2 visa and staying in the

U.S. temporarily. Generally speaking, these Chinese grandparents were issued a visa for a six

months' stay, and they could extend their stay to one year or longer with approval. For the

purpose of this study, sojourning is defined as a less than 12 months' stay in the U.S.

Limitations

Only the population of sojourning grandparents residing near a large southern university

was included in this study, so results cannot be generalized to the larger population of

grandparents in the U.S. Furthermore, the grandparents' stressors are not representative of all

Chinese grandparents in the U.S, but apply only to those sojourning grandparents. Also,

grandparents in this study mainly lived in family housing apartments, where they typically

encountered other Chinese families. Their social support from this community might be different

than that of elder immigrants who live in houses and perhaps are more isolated. Furthermore, the

adult children were mostly students or post-doctoral staffs at UF; their financial condition was

likely to be less stable than Chinese immigrants with regular employment. Despite the focused









nature of the sample it provides a snapshot of the situation for grandparents who join their adult

children while they advance their studies at a U.S. university.

Finally, the research is based on a cross-sectional design; therefore, it is hard to tell the

direction of causal links (Bryman, 2004). It is hard to say whether the grandparents' intercultural

stressors and social support determine the well-being of the grandparents, or their well-being

prior to coming to the U.S. influence their intercultural stressors and social support.

Significance of the Study

Although it is common for Chinese grandparents to be involved in rearing grandchildren,

there are few studies on this topic. Furthermore, no articles focus on the well-being of Chinese

grandparents, especially the well-being of Chinese grandparents sojourning in another country.

There is some research on the well-being of Chinese or Asian older immigrants who have

established permanent residency in U.S. (Gee, 2000; Moon, 1996; Mui, 1998; Vo-Thanh-Xuan

& Liamputtong, 2003). These immigrants might live in the new country for many years and not

necessarily with their adult children. The grandparents in this study lived in the U.S. temporarily

and all lived together with their adult children. The relationship with adult children is a vital

coping strategy for this special group and also a potential source of strain and tension. In short,

this study provides new information on the experience and well-being of the older generation in

a unique form of transnational family.

Furthermore, the existing research on Chinese grandparents raising grandchildren and the

large amount of research on American grandparenting mainly focuses on grandmothers and do

not examine the involvement of grandfathers. This research studied both grandmothers and

grandfathers and documented the differences between grandfathers and grandmothers. According

to Chinese patrilineal tradition, there should be more paternal grandparents involved in caring

grandchildren. However, with one child policy in China, the preference on sons is on the









decrease. And the relationship between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law is hard to deal with

for Chinese families. This study examined the differences between maternal and paternal

grandparents, which are not addressed in previous research.

The mixed methods in this study have strengths for cross-cultural studies (Ungar &

Liebengerg 2005). Quantitative research is helpful for exploring the relationship among

constructs in theory frame. Qualitative research contextualizes the key concepts in theory frame

and is useful for understanding the experiences of participants. Moreover, the results from

qualitative portion of this study supported and expanded quantitative results in cultural and

environmental contexts.

Regarding possible future applications of findings, it is anticipated that the information

from this study may be useful to practitioners who are in a position to supply services to

sojourning grandparents. Also, this study provides useful information and increases awareness of

the needs and well-being of Chinese grandparents among adult children, as well as in the host

community. Supportive services and counseling services may be helpful both to the grandparents

and their adult children









CHAPTER 2
LITERATURE REVIEW

A common phenomenon for Chinese families is for grandparents to be involved in rearing

grandchildren, and in fact this pattern is embedded in traditional Chinese family structure and

functions (Goh, 2006). Rooted in Confucian ideology, the extended family system was the

typical Chinese family form before Mao. There were several generations in the family and more

than one married child with his or her spouse and children would remain in the family of

orientation (Davis & Harrell, 1993). The most distinctive character of the traditional Chinese

family is that it was, and to a large extent still is, patriarchal, as well as patrilineal (Meredith &

Abbott, 1995). Elder parents lived together with unmarried children, married sons, daughter-in-

laws and grandchildren. The oldest male headed the family and was the ultimate authority, and

the family line was passed through sons. Furthermore, the Chinese economy, based on

agricultural production, required collective labor. With additional laborers, extended families

have more advantages than the nuclear family in terms of providing for family members and

ensuring economic security (Meredith & Abbott, 1995).

With Chinese modernization, the extended family is becoming less common, while the

nuclear family is becoming the normative Chinese family structure (Wang, 2006). At the same

time, the stem family at least one parent living with one adult married child and his or her family

(called Zhi Xi Jia Ting in Chinese) is still an important form of Chinese family structure. Using a

sample (1 percent) from the Chinese census in 2000, Wang (2006) analyzed Chinese family

structure and found that in urban areas, 71% of families are nuclear in structure, 16% are stem

families, 10% are single and 0.7% are extended families. In rural areas, 66% of families are

nuclear families, 25% are stem families, 8% are single and 0.5% are extended family. From these

figures, we can tell that extended families are less than one percent in urban areas and villages;









around twenty percent of Chinese families are intergenerational co-resident families; and the

majority of households are nuclear families.

Literature on Chinese family structure doesn't show whether intergenerational co-

residence is temporary or lasts until the death of elder parents. It is mentioned in the literature

that more and more Chinese people prefer non-coresidence. In Logan & Bian's (1999) study of

urban elder people, only 30 percent of elder parents indicated they preferred to live together with

adult children. The actual living arrangement depends on elder parents' needs as well as adult

children's needs (Zhang, 2004). On the one hand, with the lack of a social security system for

elders in China, adult children still have a filial obligation to care for parents; on the other hand,

adult children need to live together with their parents due to housing shortages and need their

help in child rearing (Zhang, 2004). Today, newly married couples can hardly afford to purchase

a house. They may choose to live in the house of their parents if they live in the same area.

Grandparents, especially grandmothers, are regarded as the important resource for child rearing

in China. While some couples send their children to the grandparents' home, more often, the

grandparents live with their adult children at least temporarily to help raise grandchildren. The

odds of multi-generational co-residence are greater when young couples have a child less than 3

years old compared with having an older child (Zhang, 2004). When the children are more than 3

years old, their parents can send them to daycare or preschool while they are at work.

Why Chinese Grandparents are Involved in Rearing Grandchildren

Guberman, Maheu & Maille' s (1992) research on why women are family caregivers found

that a feeling of obligation mixed with love and responsibility motivated women to care for a

dependent person. The finding can be used to explain why Chinese grandparents are involved in

rearing grandchildren. Chinese elder grandparents have strong obligation of doing something for

their children to reduce their burden. Furthermore, for Chinese people, having children means a









lifelong commitment that lasts through their children's adulthood. (Da, 2003). Even after the

adult children are married and have their own children, Chinese grandparents, both grandmothers

and grandfathers, feel that caring for grandchildren is a way to help their adult children put their

energy into career, which is important in Chinese modern society. Chinese grandparents also

care for grandchildren out of love; they regard grandchild-rearing as "enjoying family happiness"

(Sheng, 1991, as cited in Sheng, 2006, p. 304).

Moreover, rearing grandchildren is also a "cultural imperative" for Chinese elders (Mjelde-

Mossey, Chi & Lou, 2006, p.20). Based in Confucianism, Chinese elders are highly respected

and honored in the society. They are expected to play a meaningful role in both family and

society by giving advice, comfort and help, thus ensuring harmony with nature. (Mjelde-Mossey,

Chi & Lou, 2006). Adult children usually assume that grandparents will help with child care

once the grandchildren are born.

Chinese culture values familism, which emphasizes the kinship relations of extended

family members and puts the needs of family above the individual (DeGenova, 2008; Feldman,

Mont-Reynaud & Rosenthal, 1992; Kang, Shaver, Sue, Min & Jing, 2003; Mjelde-Mossey, Chi

& Lou, 2006). Chinese people also emphasize intergenerational family ties (Feldman, Mont-

Reynaud & Rosenthal, 1992). The involvement in rearing grandchildren is an expression of the

"intergenerational tie" for Chinese grandparents, particularly, for Chinese grandmothers (Chen,

Short & Entwisles, 2000, p.572). Filial piety, which emphasizes devotion and service to elder

people, is the cornerstone of Chinese traditional values (Da, 2003; Mjelde-Mossey, Chi & Lou,

2006; Short, Sheng & Settles, 2006; Zhai, Xu & Yang, 200; Vo-Thanh-Xuan & Lianputtong,

2003; Williams, Mehta & Lin, 1999). Although the Chinese Communist Party has broken away

from some elements of filial piety, such as obeying parents absolutely and holding a traditional









funeral, the traditional value of interdependence between parents and children has never been

attacked (Davis-Friedman, 1991). Furthermore, with the political and economic changes recently

taking place, young generations have begun to take on some Western values and practices, and

intergenerational relations tend to be more egalitarian (Chen & Silverstein, 2000; Yuan 1987).

Filial piety in China today can be understood as an intergenerational commitment that

works reciprocally (Da, 2003). Adult children are an important source of elder care, and on the

other hand, elder parents are important source of daily help for adult children (Sheng & Settles,

2006). This help includes temporary housing, financial support, housework and taking care of

grandchildren (Sheng & Settles, 2006).

In a study of Chinese grandparents raising grandchildren in Australia, Da (2003) regarded

Chinese-Australian adult children inviting their elder parents to Australia as conveying a deep

meaning of filial piety. The traveling cost and living expense for Chinese grandparents is higher

than using a local baby sitter. Chinese Australia adult children are willing to pay the cost for their

elder parents who have few chances to go abroad. On the other hand, the "quality and safety of

care of for grandchildren" and "emotional comfort for the migrant parents" given by Chinese

grandparent is priceless (Da, 2003, p. 20).

A recent emphasis on Chinese women's employment combined with deficient childcare in

China is another important reason for caring grandchildren (Goh, 2006; Zhang, 2004). In

Chinese traditional society, Confucian ideology supported that women were subordinate to men

and should stay at home to care for domestic duties and the family. "Three obedience and four

virtues" doctrines were the idea expected for all women in Chinese traditional society (Ma, 1963,

as cited in Lee, 1995). The "three obedience" means a woman should obey her father when

single, obey her husband when married, and obey her son when the husband dies (Zuo, 1959, as









cited in Lee, 1995). With the founding of the People's Republic in 1949, the new party wanted to

break through Chinese traditional ideology and regarded women's enrollment in the labor force

was the key to equality and liberty for women (Bauer, Riley & Zhao, 1992). Thus, the

government has implemented policies that lead women into the labor force.

Chinese women's involvement in the labor force increased sharply since the new

government (Bauer, Riley & Zhao, 1992). Goh's (2006) research on Chinese grandparents and

adult children indicated it was rare for the mothers to stay at home and take care of children in

contemporary China. Chinese women regard employment as both a way of bringing income back

home and enhancing their social status (Goh, 2006). Furthermore, mothers usually have to

return to work right after maternity leave, which lasts around six months; because "movement in

and out of wage jobs was difficult since labor supply far exceeded the demand" (Chen, Short &

Entwisle, 2000, p.572). Part-time, temporary and self-employed jobs are not common in China

and most often, women return to full time, year round jobs (Chen, Short & Entwisle, 2000; Da,

2003, Goh, 2006).

At the same time, child-care facilities are limited in China. Urban cities provide child-care,

but these mainly target toddlers and pre-school children and infant care is scarce. There are few

child care facilities for children under primary school age in rural places (Chen, Short &

Enterwisle, 2000). What is more, Chinese parents think it is best for infants to be raised at home

(Meredith & Abbott, 1995). There are no formal baby sitters in China. Domestic helpers mainly

from villages are often viewed as unreliable (Goh, 2006). For instance, in a study of grandparents

raising grandchildren in urban China, Goh (2006) reported that one mother found that her baby

crying in the balcony in the cold whether while the helper was drying her hair. Later the









grandparents became the baby's caregivers. Chinese parents regard grandparents as the most

trustworthy care giver to grandchildren (Goh, 2006).

With inadequate provision of child care, young couples often turn to grandparents for help

(Chen, Short & Entwisle, 2000; Zhang, 2004). Chinese grandparents take for granted that they

will be involved rearing grandchildren (Treas & Mazumdar, 2004). Grandparents are the persons

adult children feel most comfortable taking care of the grandchildren since they have genuine

love for the little ones (Goh, 2006; Xie, 1994).

Furthermore, the Chinese tradition of "doing the month" might contribute to the co-

residence of grandparents with their adult children. "Doing the month" is a post partum practice

of Chinese women (Holrlyd & Katie, 1997; Hung & Chung, 2001), when the mother is advised

to take at least 30 days to recover from giving birth. During that period of time, women eat

specific foods; avoid bathing, and rest, preferably in bed (Holrlyd & Katie, 1997). Generally

speaking, it is the grandparents who come to help "doing the month" (Leung, Arthur &

Martinson, 2005). They prepare meals especially the specific foods, do housework and take care

of the babies.

Chinese Sojourning Elders in the U.S. and Intercultural Stressors

Chinese overseas population has steadily increased in recent decades (Poston, Mao & Yu.

1994). Many of these immigrant families contain sojourning grandparents helping with

grandchildren (Treas & Mazumdar, 2004). The reasons for Chinese grandparents involved in

rearing grandchildren overseas are similar with which domestically. Chinese sojourners and first

generation immigrants in the foreign countries also value kinship relations and are deeply

influenced by filial piety, which is an important reason for Chinese grandparents rearing

grandchildren (Da, 2003). Second, Chinese women immigrants bring their gender role ideology

to the new country. Da's (2003) study found that although Australia discourages women's









employment with social policies and welfare benefits, and Chinese immigrant families may not

have a financial need for women's employment, Chinese women immigrants still regard

employment as important. Chinese sojourning grandparents are an important resource to help

these mothers to return to work or study soon after they have their babies. Still Chinese

grandparents are the ones parents feel most comfortable with taking care of the grandchildren,

whether in China or in foreign countries (Da, 2003).

When Chinese grandparents come to a new country, they come into contact with a new

culture and during the process of acculturation, elders meet many difficulties. As both the

sojourning elders and elder immigrants have intercultural stressors, and there is lack of research

on sojourning elders. Research on acculturation stressors of elder immigrants was reviewed.

Acculturation stressors include being deprived of a social network, language barriers,

lacking transportation, losing power in the household, lack of leisure activities and financial

dependency (Moon, 1996; Mui, 1998; Treas & Mazumdar, 2002; Vo-Thanh-Xuan &

Liamputtong, 2003). The greatest difficulty they have to deal with is social isolation (Vo-Thanh-

Xuan & Liamputtong, 2003). Most of new elder immigrants can't speak English, neither can

they drive. This makes them feel isolated and unable to control their own daily life (Treas &

Mazumdar, 2002; Vo-Thanh-Xuan & Liamputtong, 2003). Busy with childcare and housework

and isolated from society, grandparents have few chances to attend leisure activities, which they

might enjoy in their home country and life can be boring (Treas & Mazumdar, 2002). Losing

their social network, the grandparents feel lonely in the new country and then adult children may

not be an available source of support. They are busy with their work or studies and may not meet

the elder parents' expectation for companionship (Trea & Mazumdar, 2002). Concerns about

visa status also cause worries. Chinese grandparents' dependence on adult children and their









value of family collectivism lead them defer to the desire of young generation (Treas &

Mazumdar, 2002). Although the grandparents might have different opinions on living

arrangements and grandchild rearing, they choose to respect the adult children's authority since

they think they live in their adult children's household. This lose of power is a stressor for co-

resident grandparents (Treas & Mazumdar, 2002).

Studies of Australian-Vietnamese grandparents (Vo-Thanh-Xuan & Liamputtong, 2003)

and the study on Latina-American grandparents (Goodman & Sillverstein, 2005) showed kinship

and lower internal conflicts were vital to the well-being to the elder immigrations. Research on

Hispanic elders in the U.S. (Mui, 1996) and Korean elder immigrants in U.S. (Moon, 1996)

found that cultural context was a factor in family social support. Family support might not be

positively associated with elder's well-being for all ethnic groups, but it is an important factor

related to the groups that value family togetherness (Mui, 1996). It is not the size of family

network but the elder immigrants' satisfaction to family support that correlated with elder

people's well-being (Mui, 1998). Family relationship was found to be a predictor of satisfaction

of Chinese Canadian elders (Gee, 2000). Demographic factors as age, sex, education level,

travels with or without the company of spouse, and income are associated with depression

among Chinese elder immigrants (Mui, 1998).

Intergenerational Relationships in the Context of Co-Residence

Research on well-being of Chinese elders has indicated that harmonious relationship with

adult children is an important predicator of beneficial well-being (Chen &Silverstein, 2000;

Zhang & Yu, 1998). However, the conflicts between mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law are

common in Chinese co-resident families (Davis-Friedmann, 1991; Martine, 2000; Treas &

Mazumdar, 2002). In the past, these were rooted in the traditional patrilineal family, where the

daughter-in-law was considered inferior. In Chinese traditional society, a daughter-in-law moved









into her in-law's house as a newcomer after marriage and was a stranger to the family and the

community (Davis-Friedmann, 1991). The elder woman in the household had the authority and

power. The daughter-in-law was often criticized, scolded, and even beaten by her mother-in-law;

and a husband could not display any affection outside of their private bedroom (Wolf, 1968).

Wolf (1968) proposed that the source of the tension between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law

was "competition for the loyalty and affection of the young man who is the older woman's son

and the younger woman's husband" (p.869). Davis-Friedmann (1991) revealed that at the

beginning of co-residence, the mother-in-law is "especially watchful of any waste" of the

daughter-in-law and conflict on household mismanagement were endless (p.72). Later research

on Chinese intergenerational relationships showed that elder people feel they are losing control

and power in the family with modernization (Sheng & Settles, 2006; Williams, Mehta & Lin,

1999). The balance of power is shifting from the older to the younger generation, which is better

educated and more likely to be employed outside the home (Williams, Mehta & Lin, 1999). As

young women become more highly educated and earn money for the family, they are gaining

authority in the household (Da, 2003; Williams, Mehta & Lin, 1999). Daughters-in-law are

seldom controlled by mothers-in-law, especially in urban places in contemporary China. The

sources of conflicts between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law in modern society not only

include being "jealous" of mothers-in-law but also their different cultural background and living

situations. The mothers-in-law has grown up in a comparatively old culture while the daughter-

in-law lives in a new culture (Williams, Mehta & Lin, 1999). While the older generation places

more value on obedience, the younger generation strives for independence and freedom. In terms

of raising grandchildren, the two might disagree with each other on disciplining, feeding,

educating, dressing, potty training and other aspects of child care. The grandmother may wish to









supervise the young mother in caring for her child or even feel the need to intervene if the young

mother does not raise the child in the way she thinks proper (Wolf, 1970). Also the grandparents

tend to indulge grandchildren. She will most likely interfere if she thinks the young mother

disciplines the grandchild in a way more harshly than she expected (Wolf, 1970). In in-depth

interview conducted by Goh (2006), a young mother complained that her mother-in-law asked

her not to hit the child when she was punishing the young child for bad behavior. Another young

mother complained that her in-laws gave the grandchild candies and cookies as treats, which she

thought were harmful for her daughter's system.

The research literature shows that the percentage of grandparents' co-residence with sons

is much higher than with daughters (Logan, Bian & Bian, 1998; Martine, L 2000; Short, Zhai,

Xu &Yang, 2006; Williams, Mehta & Lin, 1999). This is due to the traditional ideology in

China's patrilineal society that only a son can carry on the family line. The daughter is just a

temporary member of the family and belongs to her husband's family after marriage (Williams,

Mehta & Lin, 1999; Short, Zhai, Xu &Yang, 2006). Although the percentage of living with

husbands' parents is higher than with wives' parents, the gap has decreased. One reason is young

women's higher education and enrollment in labor force, which leads them to break the tradition

and chose to live with their own parents (Logan, Bian & Bian, 1998). The other reason is that

because of China's one child policy, it is impossible for most families to have both sons and

daughters. The one child policy is weakening Chinese people's preference for boys, especially in

urban areas. Fertility Surveys conducted in 1985-1987 showed that the percentage of living with

wife's parents in Shanghai and Beijing, the biggest cities in China, was 2.3 times greater than the

other nine provinces where rural places are the majority (Zeng, Li, and Ma, 1991: 425, cited in

Zeng 2002). More and more urban elder people prefer to live together with daughters since they









give better emotional support and daily care (Sheng & Settles, 2006; Zeng 2002). Although

paternal grandparents are still important sources of child care, the involvement in child care from

the maternal side is on the increase (Goh, 2006).

Reference: U. S. Grandparents Rearing Grandchildren

Little research has been conducted on Chinese co-resident grandparents rearing

grandchildren with the exception of Falbo (1991), Da (2003) and Goh (2006). However, with the

dramatic increase of grandparents raising grandchildren in the U. S. in the recent decades,

American researchers have addressed this issue (Dolbin-MacNab, 2006; Kelly, Whitley, Sipe &

Yorker, 2000; Landry-Meyer, Gerard & Guzell, 2005; Mills, Gomez-Smith & De Leon, 2005;

Ross & Aday, 2006; Sands & Goldberg-Glen, 2000). U.S. Census reports indicated that in 2000

there were 5.8 million co-resident grandparents who lived with grandchildren under age 18 (U.

S. Census, 2000). Different from Chinese grandparents, most of whom have a joint mission with

adult children on rearing grandchildren, 2.4 million (40 percent) American grandparents had the

primary responsibility for their grandchildren under age 18 in 2000 (U. S. Census, 2000).

American grandparents rearing grandchildren mainly because of the problems of young parents,

including: child maltreatment, AIDS, divorce, drug abuse, mental and physical illness, teen

pregnancy and imprisonment of parents (Dolbin-MacNab, 2006). More than one third of co-

resident grandparents live in a skipped generation family with the absence of the parents (U.S.

Census, 2000).

Research on American grandparents raising grandchildren includes the following areas:

description of demographic and economic character of grandparent-maintained households

(Crisper & Bryson, 1998), grandparent-grandchildren relationship (Brown, 2003), role conflicts

of grandparents (Laudry-Meyer & Newman, 2004), ways in which grandparents parent

grandchildren (Dolbin-MacNab, 2006), and much research focusing on stress among custodial









grandparents raising grandchildren in skipped generation family (Kelly, Whitley, Sipe & Yorker,

2000; Landry-Meyer, Gerard & Guzell, 2005; Mills, Gomez-Smith & De Leon, 2005; Ross &

Aday, 2006; Sands & Goldberg-Glen, 2000). Research has demonstrated that full-time

responsibility for caring for grandchildren has negative impacts on grandparents' physical and

psychological health. The stressors include legal and financial issues, role conflicts, health

problems, social isolation and concerns about grandchildren's behavior and performance (Kelly,

Whitley, Sipe & Yorker, 2000; Sands & Goldberg-Glen, 2000). Sands & Goldberg-Glen (2000)

found that raising grandchildren with psychological or physical problems was more stressful for

grandparents. Studies on parenting grandparents demonstrated that social support and family

cohesion could buffer the stress of grandparents (Kelly, Whitley, Sipe & Yorker, 2000; Landry-

Meyer, Gerard & Guzell, 2005; Mills, Gomez-Smith & De Leon, 2005; Ross & Aday, 2006;

Sands & Goldberg-Glen, 2000).

Theoretical Framework

Stress and coping theory is often used in the study of American grandparents' well-being

(Ross & Aday, 2006; Sands & Goldberg-Glen, 2000). This study will use ABC-X family stress

theory as the main theoretical framework. In addition, I will discuss more theoretical frameworks

that are relevant to my research: social support and family system theory.

ABC-X Family Stress Theory

Family stress theories focus on stress, coping and social support in the context of family.

They propose to uncover why some families are able to cope with ease while other families give

up when facing similar if not identical family transitions (McKenry & Price, 2000). Hill's (1949,

1958)'s ABC-X model described the interaction process among stressors (A factor), family

resources (B factor) and family perception (C factor), which affects whether or not families

experience a crisis (X factor). McCubbin and Patterson (1982) expanded Hill (1949)'s ABC-X









theory into the Double ABC-X Family Stress Theory which included precrisis and postcrisis

factors to explain the families' encompassing adaptation after the crisis was passed and the

stressors were piled up (McCubbin & Patterson, 1982).

Double A refers to the original stressor event and pile up stressors (McCubbin & Patterson,

1982). McCubbin and Patterson defined a stressor as a life event that provokes changes in family

system such as death, birth of child, purchase of a house, etc. Stressor events not only refer to

major life events like disaster or trauma, but also refer to daily hassles and trifles (McKenry &

Price, 2000). Anything that changes some aspect of the family system can be a stressor event

(McKenry & Price, 2000).

The Double B factor refers to existing resources and coping resources in response to

stressor events. They can reduce the effect of stressor events and prevent crisis of the family

(McCubbin and Patterson, 1982). McCubbin and Patterson (1982) identified four parts of family

resources: (1) "self-reliance and self-esteem", (2) "family integration", (3) "social support", (4)

"collective group support" (p. 45).

The Double C factor refers to the family's perception of the stressor events and sense of

coherence (McKenry & Price, 2000). Some families have a positive attitude toward the adversity

and regard it as a chance to grow, while other families have a negative attitude and think it is

hopeless. Family perception and coherence is a moderator between stressor and adaptation

(McKenry & Price, 2000).

The Double X factor is defined adaptation, the outcome of family coping, stressor events,

and the pile-up of demands. There are two result of adaptation: bonadaptation and maladaptation.

Bonadaptation is a positive result, characterized as family member's life satisfaction, good

family relationships, and physical/psychological health. Maladaption is negative result of coping,









characterized as family member's dissatisfaction of life or worsening family relationships

(McKenry & Price, 2000).

In short, the Double ABC-X theory introduced the concepts of coping and adaptation to

the study of family stress. It emphasized the role of coping and resources, including social

support in facilitating family adaptation to an adverse situation (McCubbin, & Patterson, 1982;

McKenry & Price, 2000).

Stress, Social Support and Buffering Hypothesis

At the beginning of 1980's, numerous studies had shown that positive social support had

positive relations to metal health (e. g., Aneshensel & Frerichs, 1982; Billings & Moos, 1981). It

is generally regarded that social networks provide regular, positive experiences and stable roles

for people that are beneficial to mental health (Cohen &Wills, 1985). Social support is associated

with a person's overall well-being, since it gives a person "a sense of predictability and stability"

and "recognition of self-worth" (p. 311). Moreover, support from social network prevents

people from the negative impact of adversity such as financial or legal problem (Cohen &Wills,

1985).

The mechanism through which social support is associated with psychological health was

unclear until Cohen and Wills (1985) outlined the framework of social support and the buffering

hypothesis. Cohen and Wills (1985) proposed support may intervene at two points in the causal

chain linkage of potential stressful events and illness. First, social support may intervene

between stressors and a stress reaction by "attenuating or preventing a stress appraisal response"

(p312). Support from others may strength people's perceived ability to cope with stress events,

thus the situation will not be perceived as highly stressful. Second, social support may intervene

between the experience process and the outcome by "eliminating the stress reaction" or by

directly "influencing physiological processes" (p312). Cohen and Wills (1985) summarized the









function of social support as "esteem support", "informational support", "social companionship"

and "instrumental support" (p. 313). Esteem support helps people to build self-esteem and

believe they are accepted, despite the stressful situation. This support is also referred as

"emotional support" (p. 313). Information support is people advice to help with coping. Social

companionship is having leisure time or other activities together with other people. This function

helps people fulfill the need of connects with other people while distancing from a stressful

situation for awhile. It is also called "belongingness". Finally, instrument support is providing

financial help and service.

Circumplex Model of Marital and Family Systems

The Circumplex model of marital and family systems includes three basic concepts that are

also common in other models of family systems: cohesion, flexibility/adaptability, and

communication (Gorall & Olson, 1995; Olson, Russell, & Sprenkle, 1983). Cohesion and

adaptability are two dimensions of circumplex model (Olson, Sprenkle & Russell, 1979; Olson,

Russell, & Sprenkle, 1983). Communication is the facilitating dimension of circumplex model

(Olson, Russell, & Sprenkle, 1983).

Family cohesion is defined as emotional bonding among family members (Olson, Russell,

& Sprenkle, 1983). There are four levels of family cohesion: "disengaged" (very low),

"separated" (low to moderate), "connected" (moderated to high) and "enmeshed" (very high).

When the central parts (separated and connected) make a balance between "togetherness" and

apartnesss", they are considered to be healthy type of family cohesion. The extreme high and

extreme low type of cohesion will cause problem with time going (Olson, Russell, & Sprenkle,

1979, 1983) There are four levels of family adaptability, from a low level to a high level: rigid,

structured, flexible and chaotic; the central parts are regarded as an appropriate balance (Olson,

Russell, & Sprenkle, 1983). When combining the two dimensions of cohesion and adaptability









into a complex model, 16 types of marriage and family systems result. Four of the 16 possible

types, which fall in both central parts of family cohesion and family adaptability, are said to be

balance. If the families fall into extreme levels of both the family cohesion and adaptability

dimensions, the families are considered unbalanced. If the families are in extreme levels of one

the two dimensions and are in moderate level of the other dimension, the families are regarded as

having a midrange system (Gorall & Olson, 1995).

In summary, what seems to be important for Chinese grandparents in the U. S. are

intercultural stressors, social support and family cohesion. My conceptualization of this process

is as following:


Intercultural Stressors



Social Support Well-being


Family Cohesion


Figure 3-1. Theoretical conceptualization of intercultural stressors, social support, family
cohesion and well-being of Chinese sojourning grandparents.









CHAPTER 3
METHODOLOGY

This research studied the living experience of Chinese sojourning grandparents in the U. S.

and how intercultural stressors, social support and family cohesion affected their well-being. The

research included both quantitative and qualitative inquiry. This chapter explains how the study

was conducted, including research design, data collection, instrumentation, and data analysis.

Research Design

A cross-sectional design was used for the study. Bryman (2004) defines cross-sectional

design as the collection of data on more than one case at a single point time in order to detect the

association of two or more variables. This paradigm enables researchers to examine the existing

differences among groups at one point of time. However, it doesn't track the differences over

time (De vaus, 2001). With a cross-sectional design, the relations between two or more variables

can be examined, but we can not tell the direction of causal influence due to a lack in the features

of the experimental design (Bryman, 2004). In this study, Chinese paternal grandparents and

maternal grandparents were compared in terms of their intercultural stressors, social support,

family cohesion and well-being. Grandfathers and grandmothers were also compared in terms of

the four variables.

Data Collection

Population and Sample Selection

The theoretical population of study is Chinese sojourning grandparents with B-2 visas who

live together with their adult children in the U.S. to help in the rearing of grandchildren. The

accessible population is Chinese sojourning grandparents with a B-2 visa living near to the

University of Florida in Gainesville. I recruited 30 grandparents (16 grandmothers vs. 14

grandfathers) living in family housing (Maguire Village, Corry Village and Diamond Village)









and Sun Island. The majority of Chinese families residing near the University of Florida are

reported to live in these four apartment complexes. There were 25 of them (13 grandmothers vs.

12 grandfathers) participating in in-depth interviews.

A convenience sample was located through churches, housing organizations as well as

word of mouth in the Gainesville, Florida area. To recruit the participants, advertisements on the

study were put in the common rooms or laundry rooms of the four villages. Due to the small

target population, snowball sampling was used. Snowball sampling is a non-probability sampling

method that involves contacting a small number of people who are eligible for the research and

using them to contact other eligible people (Bryman, 2004). Since the Chinese grandparents were

not widely dispersed and they might know other Chinese grandparents in the same village,

snowball sampling was an efficient way to locate potential study participants. The researcher

also received several referrals from acquaintances in the Chinese community at UF.

Procedure

Prior to beginning data collection, the grandparents read and signed an informed consent

form approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) at the University of Florida. In the

quantitative study portion, the researcher read the questionnaire to the participants as most of

them had eyesight problems. If the both the grandfather and grandmother lived together with

their adult children, both of them were asked to answer the questionnaire in a location of their

choosing. In-depth interviews were conducted according to their willingness to participate and

gender balance. The instruments were written in Chinese and interviews were carried out in

Chinese. In-depth interviews were recorded and transcribed into both Chinese and later

translated into English for data analysis.









Instrumentation

The self-completed questionnaire included five sections: intercultural stressors, social

support index, family adaptability and cohesion evaluation scales (FACES II), well-being

instrument, and demographic questions (see Appendix A). The instrument for the in-depth

interviews was composed of open-ended questions (see Appendix B). The instruments were

piloted with three Chinese grandparents who live in family housing at the University of Florida.

These grandparents were asked for the feedback regarding the questions in the questionnaire and

in-depth interview as well as the data collection process. The instruments were revised according

to pilot participants' feedback. It took 10-25 minutes to finish self-completed questionnaire.

Intercultural stressors

An instrument for Intercultural stressors was developed to measure the intercultural

stressors Chinese grandparents living temporarily in the U.S. According to the literature review,

the main intercultural stressors for the older immigrants in the U.S. were found to be: deprivation

of a social network, language barriers, lack of transportation, loss of power in the household,

lack of leisure activities, and financial dependency (Moon, 1996; Mui, 1998; Treas &

Mazumdar, 2002; Vo-Thanh-Xuan & Liamputtong, 2003). An informal discussion with Chinese

grandparents temporarily residing in the U.S. identified additional intercultural stressors as "feel

uncertain using public transportation" and "feel inconvenienced by where grocery stores are

located". The draft instrument included indicators from research findings and pilot tested

discussions, was pre-tested with six Chinese grandparents. Collins (2003)' cognitive methods

were used during the pre-test. For example, grandparents were asked their cognitive processes

when answering the questions in order to make sure they thought in a consistent way and in a

way I intended (Collins, 2003). The draft instrument was revised according to their reported

cognitive processes and their answers to debriefing questions. The 11 items were measured by a









five-point score (l=Never, 2= rarely, 3=occasionally, 4= frequently, 5=very frequently). The

negative items were reversely coded with the most positive one getting a score of 5 and the most

negative getting a score of 1. Cronbach's alpha score of intercultural stressor instrument for this

study was .789.

Social support index

Social support was measured by the Social Support Index (SSI) (McCubbin, Patterson &

Glynn, 1987). The 17-item instrument measured social support as the degree to which family

members find emotional, esteem and network support from community (McCubbin, Thomposon

& McCubbin, 1996). A 5-point Likert scale ranged from "strongly disagree" to "strongly agree"

(l=Strongly Disagree, 2= Disagree, 3= Not Sure, 4= Agree, 5= Strongly Agree). The negative

items (7, 9, 10, 13, 14, and 17) were reversely coded to ensure all the items are scored in the

same positive direction. The Cronbach's alpha of the SSI measure was found to be 0.82

(McCubbin, Thomposon & McCubbin, 1996). The SSI has been used in a previous study of

Chinese mainland mothers' social support with a reported Cronbach's alpha of .71 (Xu, Farver,

Zhang, Zeng, Yu & Cai, 2005). Cronbach's alpha score for this study was found to be .735.

Family adaptability and cohesion evaluation scales

Family cohesion was measured by use of the family adaptability and cohesion evaluation

scales (FACES II) (Olson & Portner, 1983). FACES II consists of a 30-item scale including 16

cohesion items and 14 adaptability items. Since adaptability is not closely related to the study,

only the 16 items for family cohesion were used. There are two items for each of the 8 concepts

related to family cohesion: emotional bonding, family boundaries, coalitions, time, space,

friends, decision making and interests and recreation. A 5-point Likert scale ranged from

"strongly disagree" to "strongly agree" (i.e., l=Strongly Disagree, 2= Disagree, 3= Neutral, 4=

Agree, 5= Strongly Agree); negative items were reverse scored. The instrument had been used to









test 2,498 family members with a Cronbach alpha score of .87 for cohesion. FACES has also

been used for the study of Asian American families and supported the use with this group (Gorall

& Olson, 1995). The Cronbach's alpha for this study for this study was found to be .643.

Philadelphia geriatric centre moral scale shouldn't this be in caps if it is a title of a scale?

Well-being was measured by the Philadelphia geriatric centre moral scale. The instrument

was original designed by Lawton (1975) and was modified by Chen and Silver (2000) in a study

of elderly Chinese people. The modified instrument contains 9 items asking how often

respondents had the following feelings in the past week: (1) had as much energy as before, (2)

felt less useful, (3) had a lot of fun in life, (4) felt depressed, (5) felt unhappy, (6) had nothing to

do, (7) were willing to have contact with others, (8) liked to be alone, (9) became irritated. Chen

and Silver (2000) used a 3-score scale ranging from 1 (never), to 2 (sometimes), to 3 (always).

Negative items were inversely coded. The study used the same items as in Chen and Silver

(2000)'s modified measure, but with a 5-point scale (l=never, 2=occasionally, 3=sometimes,

4=frequently, 5=very frequently. The alpha reliability coefficient for the modified scale was .76

(Chen and Silver, 2000). Cronbach's alpha of the 5 point scale for this study was .814.

Demographic questions

Demographic data included Chinese grandparents' ages, gender, educational level, their

adult children's household income, whether they came by themselves or together with spouses,

whether they were paternal grandparents or maternal grandparents, their living place, and

grandchildren's gender and age. The first reason for collecting demographic information was to

ensure that I had a large enough sample to include both maternal grandparents and paternal

grandparents. The second reason for collecting the demographic data was to find out whether any

of these variables were related to or affect Chinese grandparent's Intercultural stressors, social

support, family cohesion and well-being.









In-depth interview

In-depth interview included 24 open-ending questions asking the reason they came to the

U.S., their roles, difficulties and inconveniences in the U.S., their pleasures, relationship with

adult children, friends and activities in the community and their general feelings about being in

the U.S. It took 20-45 minutes for each participant to complete in-depth interview.

Instrument translation

All the above instruments were created in English and translated into Chinese by the

research. Van de Vijver and Hambleton (1996) suggested considering the linguistic and cultural

differences among the target populations and the original population during the process of

instrument translation. To improve ecological validity in a cross-cultural study, the questions

asked should be culturally free (Van de Vijver & Hambleton, 1996). The instruments were not

literally translated into Chinese. Some adaptations were made according to the cultural context.

The Chinese translation of the instrument was reviewed by a Chinese faculty member and a

doctoral student who were both familiar and well-versed in concept related to emotional well-

being both from a practitioner and researcher standpoint. The translation was further reviewed by

two adult children who lived together with Chinese grandparents and were proficient in both

English and Chinese.

Data Analysis

Pearson r correlation was conducted to assess the relation between and among intercultural

stressors, social support, family cohesion and well-being. The Pearson r correlation is a method

to exam the relationship of two interval/ratio variables (Bryman, 2004). It assesses "whether the

amount of variance in one variable is related to the amount of variance in the other variable"

(Nardi, 2006).









Multiple regression analysis was used to ascertain which independent variables

significantly influenced the dependent variable), and to what extent all the independent variables

explained dependent variable (Nardi, 2006). In this research project on Chinese sojourning

grandparents, the grandparents' well-being was the dependent variable; intercultural stressors,

social support and family cohesion were independent variables.

A Mann-Whitney U test was run to compare paternal grandparents and maternal

grandparents in terms of Intercultural stressors, social support and well-being. The Mann-

Whitney U test is a non-parametric test that is used to determine differences between groups of

paired data when the data are not sufficient (non-normally distributed) for a parametric test.

The in-depth interview was conducted in Chinese, and was recorded, transcribed and

translated into English. Qualitative data were analyzed via both traditional grounded theory, in

which theory emerges inductively from data; and the extended case method, where the

theoretical frame was deductively assessed and refined through comparison with the inductive

findings generated from in-depth interview data (Hines, Merdinger & Wyatt, 2005). In this

study, the themes from the ABC-X stress and coping theory were expanded with the inductive

findings from in-depth interviews. Also, additional themes that could not be easily classified

into the unrelated to ABC-X theory emerged from the interviews.

Before coding the data, themes related to the theoretical framework and emergent themes

outside the theoretical framework were listed through reading the transcripts. Then the

transcripts were coded line-by-line with a code book and the data were sorted according to the

codes.









CHAPTER 4
RESULTS

This chapter presents the results of both the quantitative and qualitative inquiries. The

purpose of this study was to find out to what extent Intercultural stressors, social support and

family cohesion were related to Chinese grandparents' well-being in the U.S., as well as uncover

other factors that attribute to grandparents' well-being. Thirty Chinese grandparents (14 men and

16 women) in 17 households completed the questionnaire. There were 12 couples among the 30

participants. Twenty-five of the thirty participants (12 men and 13 women) participated in in-

depth interviews, among which there were 7 couples. The demographic description of

participants for the quantitative portion will be presented first, followed by quantitative and

qualitative findings.

Sample Demographics

The demographic information collected on participants included: age; sex; education level;

whether they come from urban China or rural China; whether they came to the U.S. with their

spouses or by themselves; whether they are paternal or maternal grandparents; how many times

they have been in the U.S. (including this time); the number of grandchildren they have; age and

sex of grandchildren; adult children's family income; and the apartment complex where they

currently reside. The summary of the sample's demographic characteristics is as follows as well

as in the corresponding Figures:

* Eleven grandparents (37%) were between the ages of 50 and 59; seventeen were in the 60-
69 (56%) age category; and two (7%) were 70 years old (Figure 4-1).

* Fourteen men (47%) and sixteen women (53%) participated in the study (Figure 4-2).

* Twenty-one participants (70%) were maternal grandparents and nine participants (30%)
were paternal grandparents (Figure 4-3).

* Twenty-seven participants (90%) came with spouses and three participants (10%) came by
themselves.









* Twenty-seven participants (90%) came from urban China and three participants (10%)
from rural China.

* Fifteen households had just one grandchild. Two households had two grandchildren. None
of them had more than two grandchildren in the household.

* The mean age of first grandchild was 1.77 years. All first grandchildren were under four
years old except one grandchild who was 13 years old. Taking out the outlier, the majority
of first grandchildren (n=10, 63%) were under one year old (Figure 4-4).

* Nineteen participants (63%) lived in family housing on campus, four participants (13%) in
the Sun Island apartment complex and seven (23%) lived in other community-based
housing (Figure 4-5).

* Seven participants' (23%) adult children's households had incomes over $10,000, eight
(27%) earned over $20,000, three (10%) made over $30,000, twelve (40%) had incomes
over $40,000 (Figure 4-6).

* For eighteen participants (60%), it was the first time to be in the U.S.; for nine participants
(30%) it was the second time to be in the U.S. and for three (10%) participants, it was the
third time to be in the U.S. (Figure 4-7)

Statistical Analysis

The intercultural stressors scale asked the respondents how often (l=Never, 5= Very

Frequently) they had feelings or experiences with 11 given statements. The Social Support Index

(SSI) asked the respondents the degree to which they agreed or disagreed (ranging from

l=Strongly Disagree to 5= Strongly Disagree) with 17 given statements. The Family Cohesion

Scale asked the respondents the degree they agreed or disagreed (ranging from l=Strongly

Disagree to 5= Strongly Disagree) with 16 given statements. The Philadelphia Geriatric Centre

Moral Scale measuring well-being asked respondents how often (from l=Never to 5= Very

Frequently) they had experienced 9 stated situations. All the negative items were reversely

coded. The statistical summary of the four variables was as follows (Table 4-1).









Hypotheses for Quantitative Inquiry

* HIA: Intercultural stressors, social support and family cohesion will be related to the well-
being of Chinese sojourning grandparents.

* H10: Intercultural stressors, social support, family cohesion and well-being will not be
related to the well-being of Chinese sojourning grandparents.

Correlation analysis using Pearson's r correlation was conducted to examine the

relationship between intercultural stressors, social support, family cohesion, and Chinese

grandparents' well-being. Family cohesion was significantly related to well-being at the 0.001

level (r= 0.529, p<.001). Also, Intercultural stressors were significantly related to well-being (r=

0.320, p<.050). No significant relation was found between social support and well-being. Table

4-2 illustrates this analysis.

A multivariate linear regression was performed to examine the combination of influences

of intercultural stressors, social support and family cohesion to Chinese grandparents' well-being.

Linear regression tests the predictive power of independent variables on the dependent variable.

Intercultural stressors, social support and family cohesion were first tested individually on the

predictive power to grandparents' well-being. The results (Table 4-3) show that family cohesion

was a significant predictor of well-being (p< 0.001) whereas social support was not a significant

predictor. Intercultural stressors, which was significantly related to well-being in Pearson's r

correlation, was not significant in the combined regression model. However, the 0 value of .320

indicated there was a relation between intercultural stressors and well-being. The first null

hypothesis was therefore partially supported. Next, multiple regression was used to test the total

amount of variance explained by the three predictors. The model summary (Table 4-4) shows

that intercultural stressors, social support and family cohesion together explained 34.8% (R2

=.348, p<.010) of the variance in Chinese grandparents' well-being.









* H2A: Maternal grandparents will report higher levels family cohesion and wellbeing than
paternal grandparents and well-being.

* H20: There will be no difference between maternal and paternal grandparents in levels of
family cohesion or well-being.

A Mann-Whitney U test was used to test the second hypothesis. The Mann-Whitney U test

is useful for comparing two groups in terms of measures on dependent variables. It is used when

the sample is small and non-parametric (non-normally distributed and skewed), and tests the

differences between groups on medians rather than means. The skewness and kurtosis in Table

4-5 tells us the distribution of maternal grandparents and paternal grandparents in terms of the

four variables was not normal. The skewness for a normal distribution is zero and the kurtosis for

a normal distribution should be about 3.0.

The result of Mann-Whitney U test (Table 4-6) shows that there was no significant

difference between maternal grandparents and paternal grandparents on measures of

acculturation, social support, family cohesion and well-being. Thus the second null hypothesis

was supported.

* H3A: Grandmothers will report higher levels of intercultural stressors, social support, and
well-being than grandfathers.

* H30: There are no gender differences between grandmothers and grandfathers in their
reports of intercultural stressors, social support, and well-being.

Hypothesis three was also tested using the Mann-Whitney U test. The skewness and

kurtosis in table 4-7 shows that the distribution of grandfathers and grandmothers in terms of

four variables is not normal.

Results show that these grandfathers perceived having significantly higher level of social

support than grandmothers. However, there were no significant differences between the two









groups on intercultural stressors, family cohesion and well-being (See Table 4-8 below). Thus

the third hull hypothesis was partially supported.

Qualitative Results

In-depth interviews were conducted with 25 grandparents, including 13 grandmothers and

12 grandfathers. The Double ABC-X model of family stress and coping served as the framework

for coding; and then emerging themes not captured in this framework were assigned other codes.

The concepts in Table 4-9 and Table 4-10 were based on participants' words and abstracted

according to themes from the theoretical framework and emergent themes. Line-by-line coding

was used for data analysis.

Theoretical Based Themes

Stressors of Grandparents

Stressors are represented by the A factor in the ABC-X family stress model. Grandparents

reported a number of stressors, including intercultural stressors in the new country, differences of

opinion with their adult children, their concern for their adult children and other stressors.

Long trip. Although coming to the U.S. is a glorious thing for many Chinese people, these

Chinese grandparents generally found the trip expensive, tiring and even frightening. One

respondent shared his unpleasant experience of being refused when he applied for a visa the first

time. "I spent over 3, 000 Chinese dollars (around 400 U.S. dollars), including the application fee

and travel fee to the embassy. It was a big expense for us."

As there are just five cities in China with U.S. consulates, the elderly people had to travel

to one of them to apply for their visas. Even though some of the respondents got their visas

smoothly, their experiences in an unfamiliar Chinese city were not easy. Furthermore, their trip

halfway around the world was perhaps their first time outside China sounded especially

incredible for their old age; moreover, most of them could not speak English.









One elderly couple still felt frightened when talking about the turbulence during their trip

from China to the U.S. The grandfather described,

The airplane shook a lot. It flew high and low. We were very nervous at that time and
worried a lot. I thought there was no need to have such trouble. It was not worthwhile. It is
not absolute safe in the airline between China and the U.S. Air crashes are not rare in the
world. People are destined to death. But there is no need (to be dead in air crash).

Language barrier. When asked about the difficulties and inconveniences they

experienced in the U.S., all participants indicated that the language barrier was the biggest

problem. They couldn't go shopping by themselves, couldn't read the instructions on food

packages, or watch TV programs. Neither did they dare to take public transportation as they were

afraid of getting lost. A grandmother said: "It is inconvenient for me to go outside by buses

because of the language barriers. I have to stay at home most of the time. My sphere is just this

community." Furthermore, participants felt they couldn't communicate with non-Chinese

speakers in the community and their social circle and life experiences were narrowed as a result.

My neighbors are very nice. They say hello to me each time we see each other. I want to
talk to them, but I can't speak English. Neither do they speak Chinese... It is not like in
China, once you open the door, you can talk with people outside. I can just greet people
here and can't chat and have fun together.

The participants also described their difficulty in learning about and understanding the

U.S. and its culture because of the language barrier. A grandmother said "When I visit

somewhere, say, the museum, I can't read the exhibit description. I am like an illiterate, just

telling things by their appearances and not learning them in detail." Her feeling was echoed by

another grandfather:

I bring my grandson to the museum sometimes. The staff there is very nice. But I don't
know what they are talking about. A lady in the museum always gives a lecture to the kids
who visit there. We join the fun but don't understand her.

One grandfather expressed his embarrassment when American people started the

conversation with him in the vegetable garden and he couldn't continue.









Once a person asked me what kinds of vegetable I planted. I can only say "pepper" and
"soybean". I can't say any other names of the vegetables I planted and I felt embarrassed.
Then I said to him, "I Chinese, no English". I wanted to tell him I am Chinese and I can't
speak English. And I said "sorry, sorry". I didn't want to continue the conversation.

Another grandmother described her frustration when she couldn't socialize with her

grandson's peers and their parents who did not speak Chinese.

My grandson is bigger now. He needs to play with other children. There are children from
different countries on the playground, white, black and other ethnicities. They speak
English. I can't talk with them and the parents. I feel bad that I can't let my grandson blend
into his peers.

Different lifestyle. The majority of participants came from urban China where people

lived near to each other due to high population density in urban areas. These grocery stores were

within walking distance and the participants could go shopping by themselves. However, the

participants complained they couldn't go shopping without getting a ride from their adult

children in the U.S. A grandmother who thought she couldn't lead her life freely in the U.S. said,

"It is like you have no leg if you don't drive in the U.S. I can't drive at my age. Even if I could, I

don't know the directions because of language barrier." And the participants felt unused to

shopping once a week in the U.S.; in China, they went to the market every day and bought fresh

food. Moreover, most participants felt the price of vegetables in the U.S. was comparatively high

and there was a lack of variety, particularly for preparing Chinese dishes.

According to Confucian ideology, elders are respected in Chinese society. Community

activity centers are popular in urban areas. The participants expressed they could attend group

activities with other elders in the community in China. A grandmother over 60 years of age

described a typical daily routine for most retired people in urban China.

In the early morning, I attend group exercise in the park. There are people playing erhu,
singing Beijing opera, playing taiji, dancing and doing other activities in the park. I dance
for around one hour. One the way home, I buy food for three meals a day. Then I go back
home, have breakfast, take a rest and then prepare lunch. After lunch, I take a nap and then









play majong with my friends. After dinner I do some exercise in the community, take a
walk or dance.

Lacking group activities and entertainment, most grandparents claimed their life in the

U.S. was somewhat dull. As a grandmother stated,

My life in China is more colorful. At my age, it is better to have a colorful and fulfilling
life. While I am in the U.S., I just stay at home most of time, taking care of my grandchild
and doing housework. My son and daughter-in-law are busy with their work. We can only
go outside on the weekends. Life is dull. I feel lonely sometimes.

During their stay in the U.S., the participants were separated from their former social

network. One grandfather said he missed his relatives and friends in China,

When I was in China, I could go around and talk to my relatives and friends when I was
frustrated. I felt much better after talking with them. But right now, I just stay with my
own family and have few social networks except several Chinese people in the
neighborhood.

Concern for adult children. Most respondents were concerned about their children's busy

schedule and current standard of living. Because most of adult children were students or post-

doctoral fellows at UF, their income was comparatively low to other U.S. residents as well as

immigrants, and their current living standard was below grandparents' expectations.

Before I came here, I believed that their lives should be very good since they are well
educated and have PhD degrees. But I find things are different when I get here. As you can
tell from their apartment and the furniture, their lives are not easy.

Some participants claimed their adult children's living standard was lower than their peers

in China and even worse than their own living conditions in China. Some participants said that in

China, they lived in newer and bigger places; and, one of them owned a new car, while in the

U.S. her adult children were driving a used car.

It was a common view for the participants that pursuing a Ph.D. degree in the U.S.

required tremendous effort. In most participants' eyes, their adult children led a tough life in the

U.S. They were busy with their work, did not eat well, and were marginalized in U.S. society.









Two grandfathers compared their adult children to migrant workers in China who moved from

rural to urban areas hunting for jobs to earn a living.

They are like emigrants who seek life in Beijing. Their life is not stable and is full of
competition and pressure. They have low economic status and do not belong to the
American majority.

Their adult children's future has also been a potential concern for the participants. One

grandmother was concerned about her son-in-law's future and his decision to either stay in the

U.S. or go back to China. Her daughter was currently a faculty member in a university in China.

As she had no Ph.D. degree, it was not easy for her to decide to give up her job in China and join

her husband in the U.S. What's more, the son-in-law's post-doctoral position was temporary.

However, the whole family felt good about living in the U.S. and American society. It was a

dilemma for the adult children to make a decision whether to stay in the U.S. or go back to

China.

We do worry about their future. No matter where they stay, either in the U.S. or China, we
only hope that they can stay together and have a stable life. But right now, it is still
uncertain for them. It is good if they would like to stay here since the social environment
and natural environment (no air and water pollution) in the U.S. are good. It is also good if
they want to go back to China. Since they are well educated, they should have no problems
getting a job. I only hope they have a clear goal, work towards to the goal, and be reunited
sooner.

Differences or conflict with adult children. Most participants admitted they had

differences with their adult children over raising the grandchildren because of intergenerational

and cultural differences. The upper generation tended to follow Chinese tradition, while the adult

children were influenced by Western ways of childrearing. Five grandparents, whose

grandchildren were all less than one year old, reported they had different opinions from their

adult children on whether to feed the babies water. The grandparents felt that newborns needed

to be fed with water according to Chinese traditional practices. However, the young parents

insisted that babies younger than four months old should be only fed with breast milk or formula,









not water, following U.S. doctors' recommendations. The participants expressed their worries

that the grandchildren would become dehydrated without drinking water.

It is hot and humid here. I feel worried that the baby is just fed with her mother's milk.
Milk is milk. Water is water. How can milk replace water? I do not understand why we
can't feed infants with water in the U.S. while in China we can.

Another grandmother described a difference of opinion with her daughter on another issue

related to feeding the newborn grandchild:

After the baby was born, I want to feed him formula. But my daughter disagrees with me.
So does the doctor. They insist the baby should suck for milk. But my daughter has no
milk at the beginning. The baby was hungry for three days. I worried a lot.

Chinese grandparents were also concerned their grandchildren wore too few clothes and

ate too much cold food, thus threatening the Chinese value of keeping babies or children warm.

One grandmother felt continually uncomfortable with her daughter giving her granddaughter

cold milk, right from the refrigerator.

I think milk should be warmed after taking it out of the refrigerator. Children should not
drink cold milk, which is not good for their stomach. But my daughter doesn't think so.
She says American children always have cold food. She also lets my granddaughter eat ice
cream. I feel it is too cold.

Meanwhile, participants said that their children often complained about their spoiling their

grandchildren. A grandfather said his adult children didn't like when he cuddled the baby until

he fell asleep. "They (adult children) told me not to hold the baby too often. In fact, I know the

baby will be spoiled if I hold him too much. But the baby is so little."

Medical care. Basically, Chinese sojourning grandparents were issued visas for six month

stays in the U.S., and some of them extended their visas for another half a year before they

expired. As they planned only to stay temporarily in the U.S., only one of the participants had

bought health insurance. The rest did not have any coverage while in the U.S. When asked

whether they were worried about their insurance, some participants did not worry too much as









they were confident with their health. But others felt concern about this issue. A seventy-year-old

grandmother who had diabetes, nephritis, high blood pressure and heart disease before she came

to the U.S. brought all kinds of medicine from China and had injection everyday with the help of

her spouse. "Whenever I feel uncomfortable, I take some medicine. It is expensive to go to a

hospital in the U.S. We can't afford it."

A grandfather said once he had some symptoms he would fly back to China to be treated.

Sometimes I feel worried about health insurance. Generally saying, health insurance is the
biggest concern for us visiting parents. I heard that once you went to hospital, the fee
charged were very high without health insurance. We haven't been sick till now. But I
have concern about this.

East or West, home is best-homesickness. Most participants regarded the U.S. as an

environment that was good for the development for young people. However, they thought it was

not a good place for older people and they were looking forward to returning to China whether

they enjoyed their stay in the U.S. or not.

"There is an old Chinese saying, 'fallen leaves go to the root'. My root is in China. There

is no advantage for an old people to be in foreign country."

"Who doesn't say one's hometown is the best place? The U.S. is good, but our roots are

not here, how can we blossom here?"

"The U.S. is the battlefield for young people where they can struggle for a good life. We

elderly people have no hope here."

Resources

The B factor in ABC-X family stress theory refers to resources. In this study resources

included support from family members, support from Chinese friends in the community, and

church and community activities.









Filial piety of adult children. As shown in the quantitative portion of the study, family

cohesion was related to participants' intercultural stressors and was significantly related to

grandparents' well-being. The participants felt satisfied with the filial piety their adult children

showed them and they all reported that they lived in harmony with their adult children. Most

participants sensed their adult children's filial piety by the material and emotional support they

provided grandparents.

"My daughter always buys food that is rare in China for us. I tell her the food is expensive.

She says 'but you didn't eat it before. You should try.' "

"My daughter buys food I like to eat. I like cookies with filling. My daughter bought me

those kind of cookies. My wife likes peaches. My daughter bought big peaches for her."

"They (adult children) buy me many good quality clothing. Also they buy many gifts for

me to take back to China, such as fish oil, a watch and ginseng. The prices are beyond my

imagination."

"They treat me well. They do not earn much money. But they invited us to travel to New

York, Washington D.C. and Niagara Falls with a travel agency."

The participants also described their adult children's showing filial piety with emotional

support.

"We feel very happy as they (adult children) are very nice to us. My daughter-in-law is

industrious. She is enthusiastic and considerate. She always shows a kind concern for our

comfort."

A grandmother felt very pleased with her son-in-law who always spent time talking with

her husband,

I get along well with my adult children. There is no need to say my daughter since I bring
her up and know her temper and character very well.... My son-in-law has good temper









and is nice to elder people. He is easy-going. Whenever he is available, he talks with my
husband. They chat on everything, politics, life, sports, everything, even alligators. We are
very happy and have nothing to be unsatisfied about.

Pleasure from grandchildren. When asked "What pleasures do you have in the U.S.?"

Most participants referred to their pleasure in having grandchildren. A grandmother stated that,

"My pleasure is I have a grandchild, who brings me much happiness. The baby is not

naughty at all. He seldom cries and he is healthy. I am happy to be together with him."

"My grandson just begins to sit by himself. He smiles when I play with him. It is the

happiest thing in one day."

A grandfather stated that,

"We enjoy the pleasure of three generations being together. My grandson is just one-year-

old, but he knows how to please us. When I say I am tired, he will massage my back with his

little hand. When his grandma says she is tired, he will massage hers."

"My grandson is very lovely. All of us like him very much. We feel happy even though we

are busy in taking care of him."

Participants also indicated being pleased with their grandchildren's intellectual

achievements. A grandmother felt pleased that his two year old grandson knew the names of

many auto brands. The participants whose grandchildren were school aged also reported feeling

very proud of their grandchildren's intelligence and their achievements in study. An elderly

couple demonstrated pride when talking about their 13 year old grandson who got five trophy

cups in a math competition. The maternal grandfather expressed, "I feel happy when I tell my

other family members in China (such as my son) that my grandson is doing very well with his

study."









In summary, the quantitative and qualitative results show Chinese sojourning grandparents

receive support and pleasure from their adult children. And feeling pleased with and by

grandchildren related to their well-being.

Chinese friends in the community. Because most participants lived in apartments near

campus, where other international students were housed, they had many chances to encounter

other Chinese elders in the community. For many participants, Chinese friends were a part of

their daily life. They greeted each other, dropped in to visit each other, chatted in common public

community areas, went fishing or planted vegetables together. The quantitative results showed

that social support was not significantly related to the participants' well-being. However, I heard

diverse comments on the importance of Chinese friends in the community. Some of them

regarded their Chinese friends in their residential community as very important to their life in the

U.S., while others thought they were just part of daily routine or unimportant.

A grandmother said Chinese friends in the community were highly important to her

because she could talk with them in their own language. "We can understand each other and talk

about family and anything we'd like to talk about and not worry about a language barrier." She

continued to describe friends concern for each other: "We will ask each other if we haven't met

for several days. Like just now, "I asked the elderly lady why she hasn't been to the pavilion (an

outdoor community meeting place) these days. She said she caught a cold."

When the grandparents chatted with each other, their topics were mainly on their

experiences in the U.S., their feelings, the adult children's work and how to take care of the

grandchildren. The conversation had a therapeutic value for them as they always shared their

feelings in the U.S. and found they had similar experiences.

A grandfather describes how important Chinese friends in the community were to his life,









It is fun to be with them (Chinese friends) and they are big comfort to me. I felt lonely and
bored when I first came here since I could not communicate with others. I felt better once I
could chat with Chinese people in the community. We have a sense of attachment to each
other since we are all Chinese people. We say hello to each other and encourage each
other. We tell each other that it doesn't matter that we are not used to life in the U.S.
Things will get better after we stay here for some time. It is very good to see them.

The participants also regarded their adult children's close friends as their own friends. A

grandfather referred to instrumental support from his daughter's friends. "They give help as we

need. For instance, when my daughter gave birth in the hospital, her classmates, who I am also

familiar with, gave us a ride to the hospital and brought us back."

The grandparents who thought Chinese friends in the community were routine or not

important explained that the friends here were just temporary. They had fun when they chatted

with each other, but there was a lack of intimate communication. Furthermore, once they got

familiar with each other, they would be separated because of their visa limitations. As one

grandmother said,

To tell you truth, these friends are not important to me. We get along well with each other.
But we just live here temporarily. We will go back to China sooner or later. We will not
see each other after we go back. They are just acquaintances and are not friends for long.

More men regarded friends in the community as important than women (7 men out of 12

vs. 2 women out of 13). Women were more likely to regard family members as far more

important than friends. Men were found to spend more leisure time with friends in chatting,

fishing and gardening.

Community and church activities. The participants attended community or church

activities infrequently. Some participants attended community activities on special occasions,

such as on Mother's Day, Father's Day, Independence Day, Easter; etc. and some of them

attended church activities occasionally. Generally speaking, the participants looked at these

events as entertaining and interesting, but not as important. As a grandmother said, "Those









activities enrich my life. Life is more fun if we join the activities since we always stay at home...

They make life interesting, but it is hard to say they are important."

Most participants had been invited to attend church activities and felt good about the

church environment. However, as most of them did no have religious beliefs, they did not go to

church regularly. For most of them, church activities were not an important part of their life.

Perspective to stressors and resources

Perspective is the C factor in the ABC-X family stress theory. The participants were found

to cope with the stressors associated with their current sojourning status through their own

perspectives.

"Staying in the U.S. is just temporary". Most participants thought they just would stay in

the U.S. for a short period of time, a thought process which was helpful in coping with

intercultural stressors. A grandfather stated, "It is normal that there are some differences between

China and the U.S., especially the culture and food. But these differences are ok for me since I

just stay here for a short time." A couple of participants expressed that their clear goal staying in

the U.S. was to "give help, not [be here] for fun". If they have intercultural stressors, the

grandparents "take things as they come". As a grandmother explained,

After my daughter accomplishes her master degree, I will have completed my task (of
taking care of grandchildren) and will go back to China... Some Chinese elder people say
it is not fun to stay in the U.S. But I think I come not for fun, but for taking care of my
grandchild.

Moreover, the participants felt good about sacrifices they made for family members. A

grandmother said, "It is a happy thing for us older people to do what we can to reduce their

(adult children's) burden".

Perspective on differences with adult children. All participants reported they lived in

harmony with their adult children although they had different opinions about raising









grandchildren. Most participants said they followed their adult children's suggestions when there

were differences, even though at times they insisted their own opinions were right in their hearts.

I think I need to respect them since they (adult children) are the parents of my
granddaughter. They have more authority than me and should decide for the baby. They
will live in the U.S. for a long time. I will leave after staying here for half a year.

The participants thought their adult children's opinions, whether from books or from

doctors, were more scientific. Moreover, their goal was the same as their adult children's, which

was to ensure the health and well-being of the grandchildren. Additionally, many participants

said they would not interfere with adult children's business since they did not necessarily

understand some things about their lives. For example, one grandmother said, "We manage our

own lives respectively."

Hope for their adult children's future. Most participants had hope for their adult

children's future even though they felt their current life was difficult. Most participants felt their

adult children should have a bright future as a result of their high education. A grandfather told

me, "If they (adult children) can sustain such a hard life, their life in the future will be better."

Well-being

When asked "In general, what are your feelings about being in the U.S?", only one

grandmother and two grandfathers said they were unhappy being in the U.S.; the others (N=22)

expressed that their feelings about being in the U.S. were "Ok", "good" or "the same as in

China". Most participants went on to give one explanation after generalizing their feelings,

which included family cohesion (n=3), pleasure from grandchildren (n=2), adult children's good

life (n=l), social or environmental advantages of the U.S. society (n=2), positive perspective on

their stay in the U.S. (n-=3), feeling good about self-sacrifice (n=2), limited length of stay in the

U.S. (n=l1), support from spouse (n=2), or a more relaxed life in the U.S. (n=l1). Most of the

factors had been discussed previously and would be discussed in the emergent themes portion as









the factors related to the participants' well-being, with a few exceptions, "feeling good about

self-sacrifice", "more relaxed life in the U.S." and "support from spouse". There was one

participant who referred to the language barrier as the biggest problem for his life in the U.S.

after expressed his generally feeling. Generally speaking, Chinese grandparents felt positive

about being in the U.S. and this may be tied to their well-being.

Emergent Themes-should this be a centered heading or is this where editorial wants it?

Reasons for coming to the U.S.

The majority of participants reflected that their primary reason for coming to the U.S. was

to provide help in raising grandchildren so that adult children could spend more time on their

work and studies. One grandfather stated, "I came to take care of my granddaughter. They (adult

children) are busy with their studies."

Several participants indicated that they came to take care of the new mothers, after the

birth of their babies, thereby following the traditional Chinese practice of "doing the month",

during which the mother rests postpartum and is cared for by an elder for a full month. A

grandfather said, "My daughter just had a baby. According to Chinese traditional culture, we

need to help her by 'doing the month'."

Another reason grandparents came to the U.S. was that they missed their adult children.

Some of them expressed they hadn't been together for several years and some hadn't even met

their daughters-in-law or sons-in-law before they came to visit.

My son just got married and I have never seen my daughter-in-law, thus I want to see them
and learn about their family, lives and study... I just want to see them and their lives so that
I am no longer worried about them.

Others mentioned that their additional reason for visiting was the opportunity to look at the

U.S. and find out more about what the country is like. "People all say America is great. I want to

take this chance to have a look at this country."









Grandparents' responsibility

Generally speaking, Chinese grandparents had a strong sense of obligation to help in the

care of grandchildren. The majority of grandparents in the sample regarded themselves as their

grandchildren's main caregivers. Only three of the twenty-five grandparents felt that adult

children should take most of the responsibility for their own children.

Traditionally, Chinese grandparents help raise their grandchildren in the extended family

setting. Although extend family is decreasing in China, Chinese grandparents still hold the

traditional obligation to be involved in caring for grandchildren. As a grandfather said, "My

grandparents also raised us. The tradition (of raising grandchildren) is passed from generation to

generation".

Another dimension of grandparent obligation was a strong obligation help adult children

manage their responsibility for children and studies/work, and this was shared by all participants.

A seventy-year-old grandmother showed pity and sympathy toward her adult children when she

described the adult children's busy schedule.

My daughter and son-in-law leave home very early in the morning and are back at home
late. They are much busier than people in China. They do not eat well, drink well or sleep
well. And the baby is so young. They have low income. If they send their baby to day care
or hire a baby sitter, their income will be even less. We are here relieving their burden.


A grandfather explained his daughter was busy with school as she was soon going to

graduate. He and his wife were taking good care of the grandson so that the mother could better

concentrate on her studies. During the interviews with participants, I heard the following

statement again and again: "We want to do more things so that the adult children can spend more

time on work and study."

Chinese people share a value of strong commitment to extended families. In the

grandparents' eyes, it was a difficult time for the adult children to be pursuing a degree and









raising children at the same time. It was also difficult to raise children while holding a post

doctoral position, as this was considered low paying and unstable. They felt a strong obligation,

as one grandmother expressed, to "help the adult children to get through their difficulties."

Grandparents' role

As the quantitative results showed, the majority of grandchildren were under three years

old. While parents were away, grandparents provided most of the hands-on care for their young

grandchildren: preparing food, feeding, changing diaper and taking them out to play.

The participants did the majority of household chores as well. They described that they

cooked different kinds of Chinese food for the adult children to improve their diet. One

grandfather found his adult children gained weight after he and his spouse came here,

They (adult children) don't know how to cook. Neither do they have time to cook. They
ate a lot of fast food before we came here. Now they eat Chinese food, which is tastier and
healthier. They have regular meals in a day. We cook dishes and make Jiaozi, noodle, rice,
Baozi (steam stuffed bun) and other baking stuff. They especially like the Shangdong
biscuit. They eat more than before.

The respondents contributed to educating the grandchildren who were toddlers or older. A

grandmother who was once a singer in the army described,

I emphasize communication with my granddaughter and the explosion of her language
ability. I teach her dances and children's songs. I try my best to encourage her intellectual
development. I teach her Chinese and take every opportunity to educate her. For example, I
encourage her to read the license place numbers on the back of cars so that she can learn
numbers and letters.

In order to enhance the grandchildren's Chinese language ability, another grandfather read

the Chinese novels to his grandchild including, Water Margin, Journal to the West, and Laotze,

Analects of Confucius. His grandson had finished primary school in China before moving to the

U.S. with his parents. The grandfather, a professor in China, was also involved in monitoring his

grandchild's homework progress. He emphasized the grandchild's psychological and physical









development. He taught the grandchild chess, played basketball with his grandchild and always

coached him on how to adjust his feelings, an important part of Chinese children's socialization.

You know the concept of health in modem psychology includes three dimensions:
physical, emotional and social. My grandson is intelligent, but he has a bad temper
sometimes. I always tell him it is important to know how to control his feelings and how to
face failure. I also tell him he needs to increase physical exercise and communication with
other people.

In some families, grandparents claimed that they served as mediators between adult

children and grandchildren. A grandmother, who thought her adult children were too strict on the

grandchildren, tried to change the adult children's parenting style by playing parent educational

programs brought from China. After watching those programs, the adult children apologized to

the grandchildren. The grandmother explained,

My adult children have too high expectations for their son. They are too anxious. I suggest
them to be patient. My son-in-law has changed his parenting a little bit after we came here.
My grandson is at a rebellious age. He is quick to rebel from his parents if they are too
harsh on him.

She also encouraged her adult children to spend more time with the grandchildren. She

believed, "Children need affection. A family full of love is in children's favor".

Other factors related to well-being

The ABC-X family stress theory was helpful in explaining some factors related to the

participants' well-being. However, the following factors did not fit into any construct in the

model, but were also from participants' perspective important to their well-being.

Adult children's good life. As a grandfather said, "We don't need their (adult children's)

material support. I only need them to have a good life. It will be a great comfort to us. We will

have long life." For Chinese elders, adult children's good life meant a good financial situation,

steady job, and stable family.









As mentioned in the previous section on stressors, adult children's financial strain was a

stressor. Correspondingly, the participants felt satisfied once their adult children's financial

situation got better. For example, a couple whose adult child recently got a job reported that they

felt "reassured", "happy" or "satisfied". A grandfather whose son-in-law started working for

several months said, "We have no financial stress. If a family does not experience financial

stress, the atmosphere at home is more peaceful. And we appear to have a closer bind to each

other." Another grandmother whose son has just achieved his Ph.D degree and got a job offer

explained,

I feel happy. My three sons are all married and have started their careers. You know at our
age, I feel at ease that I don't need worry about their losing their jobs. Each of them has a
good job and leads a comfortable life. I have brought them up with no regrets.

The daughter's education or career in the U.S. was also a symbol of good life for the

maternal grandparents. A maternal grandfather told me, "I feel happy that my daughter is now

studying for a master's degree in the U.S."

A grandmother concluded, "We elder people feel happy if the family lives in harmony, all

people are in good health, and the adult children do well or things go smoothly with their work."

In these Chinese grandparents' eyes, if the adult children have good jobs, they can lead a

good life, which makes their parents feel "reassured".

"The air is fresh and the sky is blue in the U.S." Participants frequently expressed

positive comments about the natural and social environment in the U.S., regardless of whether

they liked other aspects of their life there or not.

"The sky here is high and blue. The sky in my hometown is always overcast. Moreover,

there are many trees and a lot of grass in the U.S. It is green everywhere."

"People breathe fresh air in the U.S. People and wild animals live in harmony. You can see

squirrels here and there. Wild birds, alligator and tortoise in the river are well protected."









Many participants indicated they have better health in the U.S. due to the better

environment.

I always felt uncomfortable with my throat when I was in China. I feel better while in the
U.S. and I haven't coughed since I came here. The environment here is good and the local
climate is suitable for living, especially for elderly people.

"American people are polite and civilized." The participants felt positive about

Americans and always said, "The U.S. people are nice and polite. They say hello to me no matter

whether they know me or not." They also felt American people were civilized. "They seldom do

rude things such as skipping on a line." "There are no counterfeit things in the U.S." (Largely

refers to food and ingredients. The ingredients in the food label in the U.S. tell consumers the

true composition of the food). "There are fewer worries about thieves in the U.S." A grandfather

made comment on the traffic in the U.S.,

Though there are much more cars in the U.S., there are fewer traffic jams in the U.S. I see
many stop signs in intersections. I feel funny at the beginning since all cars make a stop
there whether there is another car or not. I feel drivers in the U.S. more often observe the
rules.

Another grandmother also compared drivers in China with those in the U.S. and said,

"Drivers in the U.S. hoot the horns much less than those in China. And they always stop the car

to wait for passengers to cross the street. Drivers in China seldom do this."

The participants had been educated in China at a young age and taught that capitalist

society was materialistic and people had uncaring, unemotional relationships with each other.

However, they found it was untrue after they came to the U.S.

"I find many American families have multiple children and they value family life. It is

beyond my imagination. "

"American people lead a free and comfortable life. They have no political pressure and

they know how to enjoy life."









"When I was in China, I always worried about my adult children as I often heart violence,

bombing happening in the U.S. from media. After I come here, I find they live in harmony and

have sense of secure."

"The U. S. is a heaven for grandchildren." The participants mentioned that the facilities

for babies were good in the U.S. Diapers, baby food, strollers and other baby supplies made it

convenient to take care of grandchildren.

I think if the financial situation is good, it is better to raise child in the U.S. than in China.
More types of baby food are available here than in China. There is formula, baby cereal
and different kinds of baby food including meat, noodles and vegetable. They are ready to
eat and are nutritious.

A grandfather said his friends in China felt it was very tiring to take of grandchildren. He

didn't feel that way as his grandson used diapers, which saved a lot of work. "If in China, we

need to wash cloth diapers. Also there are many toys for babies and children in the U.S. When

my grandson cries, I give him toys, which makes it easy to make him calm down."

Another grandmother pointed out the sidewalks in the U.S. had no steps, which made it

easy for her to push strollers.

"It is fun to see the growing of vegetable." For some participants, vegetable gardening

was an important part of daily life. Those participants had vegetable fields in the student gardens

on campus. According t participants, there were many advantages to planting vegetable. First of

all, they supplied the family with organic vegetables, which were fresh and healthy and provided

big savings. Also they received from pleasure growing vegetables, as a grandmother said, "I feel

happy when I see the vegetables growing well." Moreover, the garden was a social place for the

participants. A grandfather described the friendship he built with other Chinese elders, who

gardened together:

The longest time I spend with my friends is in the vegetable garden. Every morning after
doing some work in the garden, we sit together and chat with each other. We talk about









planting vegetable, fishing, news and everything. I call it 'the vegetable garden party'. We
give each other help such as exchanging vegetable seeds.

Planting vegetables was a good exercise for the elders at the same time. A grandfather who

had high blood pressure in China said his blood pressure was normal in the U.S., which he

attributed to gardening, "Planting vegetables is a physical exercise. We elderly people are in

great need of exercise".

Several participants who planted vegetables together said they also went fishing together.

It is pretty fun to go fishing. My two friends always invite me to go fishing with them on
weekends. It is important to my life. I feel very disappointed if I do not go fishing for one
weekend [Laugh].

Fishing had a similar function to planting vegetable. The difference was the participants

could work on a vegetable garden daily, but they couldn't go fishing every day as they relied on

transportation from their adult children to go fishing whereas the vegetable garden was isolated

on campus.

Staying occupied. In addition to leisure activities, the participants kept busy most of time

with child care and household chores. A grandfather said, "I feel enriched everyday. We are busy

the whole day because of the little one (grandchild) [laugh]. Every day ends before we realize it."

The participants' busy schedule appeared to contribute to their well-being. In contrast,

participants also described that they felt somewhat bored and had nothing to do when the

grandchildren fell asleep or went out with adult children. A grandfather who was not directly

involved in raising his grandchild said, "I feel somewhat depressed. I don't have such feelings

when I am growing vegetables or talking with other people. But I feel lonely when I stay by

myself."

Exercise. Several participants talked about taking a walk at their leisure time. One

grandmother jogged every day and regarded it as a coping skill,









I like doing exercise. I go dancing every day in China. Because there is no place for me to
dance in the U.S., I started jogging. It is good for both physical and mental health. I feel
somewhat bored taking care of my grandchild for a whole day. After I go jogging at night,
I am all in a sweat. It is a release for me. And it is very relaxing to take a shower after
exercise.

The grandmother never stopped jogging, even when it was raining and she always

encouraged other elderly Chinese people in the community to start jogging as a way to ease the

adjustment to life in the U.S.

Length of time in the U.S. The participants were experiencing an intercultural adjustment

while they stayed in the U.S. A couple of them reported that they felt much better and got used

to life in the U.S. after staying for a period of time. A grandfather who had been in the U.S. twice

said,

At the beginning when I came here, I felt strange and nervous. With two living experiences
in the U.S., I feel very at home. I am more familiar with the environment this time and feel
freer.

Some participants gradually changed their perspectives on different living style in the U.S.

Several participants told me at the beginning they felt it was not convenient to go shopping, as

the grocery stores were not within walking distance; but now they felt shopping by cars was

convenient. They also felt that not all food in the U.S. was expensive. A grandfather said tropical

fruit, milk and flour were even cheaper than in China. Moreover, the longer they stayed the less

inclined they felt transform the prices in U.S. dollars to Chinese dollars, since their adult children

earned U.S. money. One grandfather stated, "The price in the U.S. is lower than in China when

compared with local income."

Summary of the Qualitative Findings

The primary reason the study participants came to the U.S. was to help in caring for

grandchildren. They felt a strong obligation to give help as they regarded it was a way to relieve

their adult children's burden so they could concentrate on their work and studies. Most









participants were the main care takers of grandchildren and they also helped with household

chores.

During their stay in the U.S., the participants experienced intercultural stressors, concern

for their adult children, medical issues and other stressors. Family cohesion, social support from

friends and a positive perspective, the concepts from ABC-X family stress theory, helped explain

the factors related to well-being of the participants. Family cohesion, expressed by filial piety

from adult children and pleasure from grandchildren, was especially important to these

participants.

Other factors, such as adult children's financial improvement, advances of American

society, vegetable gardening, leisure activities and length of stay in the U.S. all appeared to be

associated to the participants' well-being. Generally speaking, the participants had mixed

feelings about staying in the U. S., but their well-being was positive. Further explanations of

these research findings are in the next chapter.















18
17


16


14


12
111


10


8


6


4

2
2


0
Over 50 Over 60 Over 70


Figure 4-1. Distribution of participants by age group

















O Grandfather
* Grandmother


Figure 4-2. Distribution of participants by gender.





















o Paternal
Matemal










n=21
70%




Figure 4-3. Proportion of paternal and maternal grandparents

















1010
10









6



~ 4
4










Age 0-1 Age 1-2 Age 2-3

Figure 4-4. Distribution of first grandchild's age excluding outlier














20
19


18


16


14


12


S10


8
7

6

4
4-


2


0
Family Housing Sun Island Others




Figure 4-5. Distribution of participants' current living place
















12
12


















3






10

Over 10,000 Over 20, 000 Over 30, 000 Over 40, 000



Figure 4-6. Distribution of adult children's household income














20

18
18


16


d 14


12


10


8


6


4
3


2


0M
First time Second time Third time


Figure 4-7. Distribution of grandparents' time in the U.S.









Table 4-1. Intercultural stressors, social support, family cohesion and well-being summary
statistics.


Variable Mean SD Range N

Intercultural stressors 35 6.0 31 30
Social support 65 4.6 20 30
Family cohesion 61 3.6 16 30
Well-being 35 3.5 13 30



Table 4-2. Correlation and significance test results between well-being and intercultural stressors,
social support, and family cohesion.

Grandparents' Well-being p-value

Intercultural stressors 0.320 0.042*
Social support 0.245 0.096
Family cohesion 0.529 0.001***

Note. *** p< .001 p < 0.05


Table 4-3. Predictive power of intercultural stressors, social support and family cohesion on the
variance in grandparents' well-being

Independent Variable R2 B SE B p p-Value
Intercultural stressors .103 .225 .126 .320 .084
Social support .060 .351 .262 .245 .192
Family cohesion .280 .903 .274 .529 .003**


** p <.01


Table 4-4. Multivariable linear regression model summary for independent and dependent
variables

Model R R2 Adjusted R2 F Sig
1 .590 .348 .273 4.635 .010**

Note: a. Predictors: Intercultural stressors, social Support and family cohesion
b. Dependent variable: well-being
c. ** p <.01









Table 4-5. Skewness and kurtosis of maternal grandparents and paternal grandparents in terms of
intercultural stressors, social support, family cohesion and well-being

IC SS FC W

Maternal .212 -.097 .868 -. 134
Skewness Paternal .261 -.092 -1.975 -.703

Maternal .720 -.453 .671 -.073
Kurtosis Paternal -.451 -.1.383 4.658 2.018


Table 4-6. Mann-Whitney U test: maternal grandparents and paternal grandparents on the
ranking of intercultural stressors, social support, family cohesion and well-being

X n U Sig

Maternal 16.38 21 76 .400
Intercultural Stressors Paternal 13.44 9

Maternal 16.26 21 78.5 .468
Social Support Paternal 13.72 9

Maternal 14.10 21 65 .179
Family Cohesion Paternal 18.78 9

Maternal 14.81 21 80 .505
Well-being Paternal 17.11 9


Table 4-7. Skewness and kurtosis of grandfathers and grandmothers in terms of intercultural
stressors, social support, family cohesion and well-being

IC SS FC W

Grandfather -.082 -1.027 1.322 -.564
Skewness Grandmother -.009 .881 -.079 -.155

Grandfather .632 -.928 4.264 .212
Kurtosis Grandmother .082 .892 -.843 .797









Table 4-8. Mann-Whitney U test: grandfathers and grandmothers on the ranking of intercultural
stressors, social support, family cohesion and well-being


X n U Sig
Grandfather 18 14 77 .144
Intercultural stressors Grandmother 13.31 16
Grandfather 19.93 14 50 .010**
Social support Grandmother 11.63 16
Grandfather 14.18 14 93.5 .439
Family cohesion Grandmother 16.66 16
Grandfather 17.46 14 84.5 .246
Well-being Grandmother 13.78 16
** P < .01









Table 4-9. Themes and categories based on theory frame


Theoretical-Based Themes
Stressors


Resources


Perspective on stressors and
social support


Categories
Long trip to the U.S.
Language barrier
Different lifestyle
Lonely or dull life
Concern for adult children
Concern for grandchildren
Medical care
Different opinion with adult Children
Homesick

Support from spouse
Filial piety from adult children
Pleasure from grandchildren
Chinese friends in the community
Community or church activities

Perspectives about relations with adult
children
Feelings about friends in the community
Feelings about community or church
activities
Feelings about sacrifices for family
members
Staying in the U.S. is temporary
Have clear goal in the U.S.: give help, not
for fun


Happy
Unhappy
Get used to life in the U.S.
Not used to life in the U.S.
Steady mood
Other


Well-being









Table 4-10. Emerged themes and categories


Emerged Themes
Reasons for coming to the U.S.




Perspective on the grandparents'
responsibility








Grandparents' role






Other factors related to well-being


Categories
Assisting after childbirth
Take care of grandchildren
Visit adult children and grandchildren
Travel, take a look around

Obligation to reduce adult children's
burden
Chinese tradition
Social responsibility
Make sure the grandchildren are not sick,
cold, fall down, hungry, etc
Adult children should take the main
responsibility

Take care of the baby or child
Educate grandchildren
Do house chores
Supply the family
Deal with relationship between adult
children and grandchildren

Adult children's life
Natural environment in the U.S.
Social environment in the U.S.
Good facilities for baby or child
Planting vegetable, fishing
Occupied or not occupied
Exercise
Leisure activities
Good health
Length of stay in the U.S.
Characters









CHAPTER 5
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION

This chapter will summarize and discuss some of the key findings emerging from the data

analyses. The first section of the chapter will synthesize the findings based on the research

questions and hypotheses guiding the research. Next, the limitations and recommendations for

future research will be discussed. The chapter concludes with a discussion on the important

implications of the research for practitioners.

Research Questions

RQ1.What Are the Stressors of Chinese Co-resident Grandparents When They Travel
from China to the U.S. on a B-2 Visa, Live Together with Their Adult Children and Are
Involved in Rearing Grandchildren?

Both the quantitative and qualitative analyses revealed that Chinese grandparents

experienced intercultural stressors when they came to a new country, which includes language

barriers, losing their daily life style and social networks, lack of transportation, inconvenience of

shopping and feelings of isolation. Qualitative analyses showed that in addition to intercultural

stressors, Chinese grandparents also had stressors from differences of opinion with their adult

children, adult children's financial strains, difficulties receiving medical care, and feelings of

being homesick for their usual life in China.

RQ2. To What Extent Do Intercultural Stressors, Social Support and Family Cohesion in
Explaining the Well-being of Chinese Co-resident Grandparents in the U.S?

Pearson r correlation indicated that intercultural stressors and family cohesion were

statistically related to Chinese grandparents' well-being, and there was no significant relation

between social support and their well-being. The regression analysis showed the three predictors

together explained 35% of grandparents' well-being, with family cohesion alone explaining 28%

of grandparents' well-being. The findings from the qualitative portion of the study were

consistent with the quantitative results.









The majority of participants reported that family relationships were more important than

friends in the community, who, while valued, were ultimately considered just temporary

acquaintances who would separate in a few months. Many participants felt that friendships and

community activities enriched their lives, but were not central to them. Although they felt less

lonely by talking with other Chinese elder people and attending community activities, they

perceived family as the most important aspect of their time in the U.S.

The qualitative analysis showed that other factors, such as Chinese grandparents'

perspectives on the U.S., their busy daily schedule, and the length of time they stayed in the U.S

also impacted grandparents' well-being.

RQ3. How Do Maternal Grandparents and Paternal Grandparents Differ in Their
Experiences of Intercultural Stressors, Social Support, Family Cohesion and Well-
being?

Statistical analyses revealed no significant differences between maternal grandparents and

paternal grandparents in terms of intercultural stressors, social support, family cohesion and

well-being. I assumed that maternal grandparents would have higher family cohesion than

paternal grandparents. The statistical results (see table 4-4) showed the opposite: Paternal

grandparents had higher, although but not significantly greater, family cohesion than maternal

grandparents.

RQ4. How Do Grandmothers and Grandfathers Differ in Their Experiences of
Intercultural Stressors, Social Supports, Family Cohesion and Well-being?

There was no statistical evidence that grandmothers and grandfathers differed in their

experiences of intercultural stressors, family cohesion and well-being. However, both statistical

and qualitative analyses showed that grandfathers had higher levels of social support than

grandmothers. It appeared from qualitative results that grandfathers placed more value on their

friendships, and often spent time together with their friends. The grandmothers placed less value









on friendships in the community, but spent more time with family and regarded family issues as

most important.

RQ5. What Are Grandparents' Perspectives in Rearing grandchildren?

The qualitative data clearly showed that Chinese grandparents followed the Chinese

tradition of giving help to adult children in caring for grandchildren. The participants believed

that they were obligated to provide their assistance, and regarded it as a way to support their

adult children's work and studies. Additionally, according to cultural presumptions, Chinese

grandparents had an obligation to educate grandchildren who are over one year old.

RQ6. What Are the Living experiences of Chinese grandparents in U.S?

The qualitative data showed the participants' daily life in the U.S. was much different than

that in China. And they experienced inconveniences and difficulties from intercultural stressors,

the pressures of adult children's work, adult children's financial strains and differences of

opinion with their adult children. At the same time, they enjoyed family happiness, both from

bonds with their grandchildren and the closeness and filial piety offered by their adult children.

During Chinese grandparents' stay in the U.S., they also experienced the advantages of

American society. They felt positive about the quality of the natural environment, the social

system, and the people in the U.S. They attended church activities, observed American festivals,

and grew vegetables in community gardens. All these activities they might never or seldom do in

China. Also they made friends with other Chinese elders in the community, people with diverse

backgrounds whom they might never encounter in China. These friends and community

activities enriched their lives and made them feel less lonely.

Many participants held the perspective that their stay in the U.S. was just temporary. Their

goal in the U.S. was very clear, that was taking care of grandchildren so as to support their adult

children. They were trying to make adjustments in different ways. Generally speaking, Chinese









grandparents showed positive well-being, but they all claimed that they couldn't stay in the U.S.

for a long time and they were looking forward to returning to China after they completed their

task.

Hypotheses

The first null hypothesis that "Intercultural stressors, social support, family cohesion and

well-being will not be related to the well-being of Chinese sojourning grandparents" was partly

rejected by both quantitative and qualitative analyses. The statistical results showed that

intercultural stressors and family cohesion were significantly related to Chinese grandparents'

well-being. Also, the in-depth interviews showed that Chinese grandparents experienced

difficulties from intercultural stressors; and also happiness from their attachment with

grandchildren, and filial piety from their adult children. Statistical results did not show

significant relations between social support and grandparents' well-being. In-depth interviews

also revealed that friends in the community were not important for all participants, and they did

not attend regular community activities.

The second null hypothesis, that "There will be no difference between maternal and

paternal grandparents in levels of family cohesion or well-being" was supported. The results of

both the statistical analyses and in-depth interviews did not show differences between maternal

and paternal grandparents on measure of family cohesion and well-being.

The third null hypothesis, that "There are no gender differences between grandmothers and

grandfathers in their reports of intercultural stressors, social support, and well-being" was

partially rejected. The results of both the statistical analyses and in-depth interviews did not

reveal differences between maternal grandparents and paternal grandparents on intercultural

stressors and well-being. However, statistical analyses did show significant differences between









the two groups on social support, with grandfathers reporting higher social support. In-depth

interviews also revealed that grandfathers placed more value on friendship than grandmothers.

Reflections on Findings in Relation to Previous Research

As reported in Chapter 4, findings of this study revealed that these sojourning Chinese

grandparents were an important source of help with child rearing; these results are consistent

with previous research on Chinese immigrant families (Da, 2003; Tam & Detzer, 1998). Also,

the findings showed that the participants felt a strong obligation to help in raising grandchildren,

which has not been discussed in previous research. Chinese traditions, the adult children's busy

schedules, and financial strains were the important reasons for their elder parents' strong feelings

of obligation. Chinese grandparents believed their help in raising grandchildren could help adult

children concentrate on their work and studies.

Stressors, Resources and Well-being

This study identified intercultural stressors, such as language barriers, a different life style

in the U.S., and lack of access to medical care, that appeared to be associated with the well-being

of older Chinese people sojourning in the U.S.; this echoes previous studies on elder immigrants

(Moon & Pearl, 1990; Mui, 1996). Among the intercultural stressors, the language barrier was

the most serious problem, a finding supported by previous research (Lee, 2007).

An important finding of this study is that the concern grandparents had about adult

children's current life and future could be a stressor for Chinese grandparents. This study also

found that the differences of opinion with adult children over raising grandchildren were

stressors for Chinese grandparents. This recalls a previous study of Chinese grandparents that

pointed out intergenerational differences in parenting practices that might give grandchildren a

"double message" about discipline (Goh, 2006). Power distribution is also an issue coming from

intergenerational differences. Previous research on Chinese grandparents raising grandchildren in









Australia found that Australian Chinese women had power over their mother-in-law (Da, 2003).

This study also found that grandparents gave power in the family to their adult children, whether

willingly or reluctantly, because grandparents believed that adult children should have more

authority as parents and their child-raising practices might be more scientific.

At the same time, both the quantitative and qualitative results in this research indicated that

family cohesion was vital for Chinese grandparents in the U.S.; this is consistent with previous

research on older ethnic immigrants (Mui, 1996; Moon, 1996; Goodman & Sillverstein, 2003;

Vo-Thanh-Xuan & Liamputtong, 2003), as well as research on American grandparents raising

their grandchildren (Sands & Goldberg-Glen, 2000). Moon's (1996) study among Korean elder

immigrants in the U.S. found "intimacy with children" was one of the four strongest predictors

of the elders' well-being. The qualitative part of my study showed that besides filial piety from

adult children, pleasure from grandchildren also contributed to the grandparents' well-being.

The study also indicated the grandparents' positive perspectives on their experiences in the U.S.

might mediate the impact of their stressors. Previous research hasn't touched on the impact of

perspective to Chinese elder people, even though other research and theory on stress and coping

has emphasized the importance of this factor.

Furthermore, the study found that other factors also contributed Chinese grandparents'

well-being: adult children's financial improvement, the advantages the natural and social

environments in the U.S., gardening, exercising, fishing, staying occupied, and the length of

their stay in the U.S. This bigger picture of influences on well-being has seldom been addressed

in previous research.

The study participants reported comparatively positive well-being in this study, in contrast

to previous research showing that older immigrants often experience depression (Gelfand & Yee,









1991). These differences may be explained by the temporary stay of the sojourning grandparents

in this study, compared to the long term residency of immigrant elders. These grandparents were

supported by their adult children and, at the same time, were occupied and got happiness from

being together with grandchildren. Further discussion on the differences and similarity of

sojourning and immigrants of elders will follow.

Maternal and Paternal Grandparents

Little research has been done comparing maternal grandparents and paternal grandparents,

though Chinese tradition would lead me to expect that the intergenerational relationship will be

better between adult children and maternal parents than with paternal grandparents. In this

sample there were more than twice as many maternal grandparents than paternal grandparents--

21 maternal grandparents versus 9 paternal grandparents. An adult child's decision about

whether to invite maternal or paternal grandparents to the U.S. partly depends on who is

available to help; some grandparents in China are still working and cannot leave their jobs, or

they can't get a visa, and others are no longer living. Some maternal and paternal grandparents

alternated their visits to the U.S. to give help in caring for grandchildren. Other research suggests

that the disparity in the number of maternal and paternal grandparents may be because adult

children generally prefer to choose maternal grandparents as helpers to avoid potential conflicts

between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law that traditionally have been somewhat troublesome

for Chinese families (Davis-Friedmann, 1991). Also, previous research has shown that more

elders prefer to co-reside with daughters rather than sons (Logan, Bian & Bian, 1998), an

unexpected pattern considering Chinese patrilineal tradition. The larger proportion of maternal

grandparents than paternal grandparents in this study is congruent with this tendency.

In addition, many participants (n=18) have grandchildren under 1 year old, and young

mothers may prefer their own parents to come to "do the month" for them because they are more









familiar with their daughters' food preferences and living habits and consequently, might be

better able to anticipate and respect to their needs after childbearing. The Chinese one child

policy implemented at the end of 1970's is another reason for maternal grandparents'

involvement. Because some young parents are single children due to the policy, there is no

competition from siblings for elder parents' help in caring for grandchildren. Also because of the

one child policy, the view that only sons can carry the family line is weakening, and daughters

are regarded as "functionally equivalent to sons" for Chinese urban families (Ikels, 1996, p. 138).

Grandfathers and Grandmothers

There is little previous research comparing the involvement of grandfathers and

grandmothers. Even previous research on U.S. grandparents raising grandchildren has mainly

focused on grandmothers (Kelley, Whitley, Sipe & Yorker, 2000; Sands & Goldberg-Glen,

2000). This could be explained by that fact that tasks associated with childrearing are often

assumed to be performed mainly by women. In contrast, this study found that both grandfathers

and grandmothers were involved in rearing grandchildren. Only three grandmothers came to the

U.S. by themselves; the other 27 participants came together with their spouses. Perhaps

grandfathers came to the U.S. intending to become involved once they arrived. Another

explanation is that the sojourning status brings husband and wife closer, a possibility suggested

by Man (1995). It is very possible that these grandfathers and grandmothers depended on each

other to overcome the difficulties in a new country. The grandfathers may have spent more time

at home than in China because they had fewer social activities at their disposal; and the

grandfathers and grandmothers helped each other when providing hands-on care with

grandchildren. [do you really mean grandfathers helped motherss]

One interesting finding of this study was that the grandfathers valued more social support

from Chinese friends in the community than grandmothers. In Chinese patriarchal society, men









are supposed to engage in the public sphere while women are associated with private sphere of

family life (need a citation here), perhaps giving men greater access to social networks, even in

the U.S. Although most Chinese grandfathers were involved in caring grandchildren and doing

household chores after they come to the U.S., the grandmothers were still generally regarded as

the primary caregivers. My informal observations were that grandmothers spent more time with

the family and with grandchildren. When the grandmothers did gather with other Chinese elders

in the community, they usually took their grandchildren with them. However the grandfathers

were more likely to spend time with friends in the community, without grandchildren. For

instance, for the elder couples who grew vegetables, usually it was the grandfathers who worked

in the gardens, and the grandmothers just dropped by with the grandchildren occasionally or

worked in the garden on the weekends.

Rethinking the Theory Frame and Introducing Other Theories

ABC-X Family Stress Theory

The ABC-X Family Stress theory was a valuable framework for this research. The

concepts of intercultural stressors, social support, family cohesion and perspective on stressors

proved to be important factors for grandparents' well-being, as evidenced in both the quantitative

and qualitative portions of this study. The statistical analysis showed that intercultural stressors,

social support and family cohesion explained 35% of the variance in participants' well-being. In

interviews, these Chinese grandparents expressed that they felt lonely or frustrated from the

language barrier, a different lifestyle in the U.S., and other intercultural stressors. Furthermore,

the interviews revealed that Chinese grandparents had other stressors, such as adult children's

current financial strain; but they also gained happiness from grandchildren's attachment and

adult children's filial piety. And, they felt their lives were enriched by socializing with Chinese

friends in the community and attending community activities. Chinese grandparents' perspective









(the C factor), such as, "regarding living in the U.S. as just temporary," also may have mediated

the impact of stress among Chinese grandparents sojourning in the U.S.

The main disadvantage of the ABC-X theory is that the theory is too structured and linear.

It doesn't explain the interdependence of different levels of social systems--individual, familial,

community and cultural/historical (Walker, 1985). Perhaps resilience theory is more useful in

understanding the adjustment process as well as environmental conditions that impact adjustment

(Walsh, 1998). A resilience perspective would encourage an exploration of the risk factors and

protective factors of Chinese sojourning grandparents, instead of focusing on stressors, resources

and perspective, in exploring the adaptation or adjustment of participants (Rutter,1987).

Other Theory Frames

The human ecological model (Bronfenbrenner, 1979) is recommended for future study

because it would incorporate the social context into stress studies. The central concept of the

ecological theory is that a person and the environment are related to each other reciprocally. The

advantage of using ecological theory is that it looks at the linkages between Chinese

grandparents and all levels of environment: co-resident family, friends in the community, adult

children's work, and the U.S. society.

Family systems theory could be also used as a framework for future research. The co-

resident family is a family system; and grandfather and grandmother, mother and father,

grandparents and grandchildren, grandparents and adult children are all subsystems. Family

systems theory assumes that all parts in the family system interact with each other. The change in

one part of the system will cause changes in other parts of the system (White & Klein, 2002).

"Input" and "output" are important concepts of family system theory that would be applied.

Grandparents' help in raising grandchildren is an "input", and the adult children putting more









energy on work and study is an "output" for the family system. Goals, power hierarchies and

equilibrium are some other key concepts of family system theory that could be applied to

intergenerational immigrant studies (White & Klein, 2002). Additionally, clearly there is a

common goal of the co-resident unit, to bring up the grandchildren with the help of grandparents

and to ensure the adult children have enough energy for their careers. For example, future

research could explore more about the interactions of generations within the extended family

system, the generational and gender hierarchies in the family, and the processes creating

equilibrium of the family system.

Although those other theories could be useful, my conclusion is that a multicultural

perspective could be the most suitable theory frame for this research topic. The multicultural

perspective assumes that the diverse experiences of families and women are constructed by the

intersections of "gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, class, sexual orientation, age, ability, and

religion" (De Reus, Few & Blume, 2005, p 448). When examining the dynamics of Chinese

immigrant families, ethnicity and immigration experiences should be integrated. Future research

could explore within group variations of Chinese grandparents in the U.S., including their social

economic status (SES) in China and in the U.S., educational background, and community

environment (Iwamasa & Sorocco, 2002). Studies could also explore the differences across

ethnic groups, including Asian grandparents in the U.S., grandparents of other ethnic groups in

the U.S., and White American grandparents. This study only addressed gender in a basic way,

looking at grandfathers and grandmothers on selected variables. Future studies could do much

more on gender differences, especially based on a larger sample.

Multiculturalists propose that social institutions and structures influence an individual's

opportunities and identities (De Reus, Few & Blume, 2005). The U.S. society emphasizes









independence and the importance of the husband-wife relationship over others, while Chinese

society values interdependence and accentuates the parent-child relationship (Lin & Liu, 1993).

Filial piety, a cultural value strongly influencing intergenerational relationships in China, has no

structural and institutional support in the U.S. (Lin & Liu, 1993).

Furthermore, the multicultural movement has shifted from respecting differences to a

critical analysis of power relationships associated with multiple identities (McDowell & Fang,

2007). Chinese grandparents in the U.S. are less acculturated than their adult children. They

might have less power than adult children in the family. Future research could explore more

about power in the co-resident family and the identity of Chinese grandparents in the U.S.

Rethinking Data from Multicultural Lens

From the perspective of the multicultural framework, Chinese grandparents raising

grandchildren can be regarded within the context of Chinese culture and elder sojourning. In the

following section I reflect on the study findings in terms of cultural and environmental contexts

affecting sojourning Chinese grandparents.

Regarding Chinese culture

Chinese culture is rooted in Confucianism (Hsui, 1972; Lam, 1997). In order to

understand the phenomenon of Chinese grandparents caring for grandchildren in the U.S., there

is a need to understand Chinese culture and the impacts of Confucian philosophy on family life.

Chinese culture is characterized by collectivism (Hsu, 1972; Ho, 1979). In contrast to the

individualism embedded in Western cultures, Chinese individuals are taught to value

interpersonal relationships more than personal needs. Chinese people tend to be more

"situational-centered" and "socially or psychologically dependent on others" than Americans

(Hsu, 1972, p. 10). Lam (1997) suggested that this practice is rooted in the Chinese collective

agricultural economy and Confucian teachings on social interactions. According to Confucian









thinking, the individual is not an isolated entity; instead, the individual plays a specific role in

relation to others (Hwang, 1999; Lam, 1997).

Chinese familism, which emphasizes family relationships, is the central part of Chinese

culture (Wu & Tseng, 1985). The family is the fundamental unit of Chinese society that typically

serves all an individual's social needs; in fact, it is hard to find a non-kinship organization or

association to meet individual needs (King & Bound, 1995). According to important work by

Lau (1981), Chinese familism includes "orientation toward family as a collective entity",

"identification with family" (p.977), and individual responsibilities and obligations to the family.

These ideal affect relationships among family members. There are more frequent exchange

between generations and family members in Chinese families, and Chinese parents are less likely

to encourage behavioral autonomy than American parents (Lam, 1997). Chinese parents "take

great interest in the children throughout their lives" (Chao, 1983, p.71). For example, the

transition of having a new born baby might be a symbol of independence from parents in

Western culture as a couple begins their "own" nuclear family. However, in Asian culture, the

goal of this transition is not for the individual's separation for his or her parents. Rather,

grandparents will always help their children go through transitions (Lebra, 1994). Furthermore,

the adult children remain an integral part of their family of origin throughout their lives (Lam,

1997).

It is not surprising then, in the context of Chinese familism, that grandparents felt a strong

obligation to help raise grandchildren. In Chinese collective culture, older people derive meaning

in life largely from their contribution to family members and the community (Mjelde-Mossey,

Chi & Lou, 2006). They also enjoy happiness from grandchildren and from a reunion with their









adult children. It is a family happiness (tian lun zhi le) for Chinese people to be with

grandchildren.

The intergenerational relationship in the Chinese family is imbued with the doctrine of

filial piety (Chao, 1983), a cornerstone of Confucianism and a building block of familism. Filial

piety is generally regarded as obedience, respect and affection toward parents. It is regarded as

the root of virtue and morality (Chao, 1983); a person who does not show filial piety to his or her

parents is viewed as immoral. Accompanying filial piety, there is authoritarian relationship in the

family and society where parents and superiors are at a higher level in the power hierarchy.

However, the Confucian ethic also encourages mutual affection between parents and children.

One Confucian axiom states, "a kind father makes a filial son" (Chao, 1983). In this study, the

affection and love of the grandparents to their adult children is consistent with the teaching of

filial piety. Moreover, family is a diachronic concept for Chinese people; Chinese grandparents'

giving help with child care is a practice of filial piety to their ancestors.

At the same time, this study showed that adult children still practiced the norm of filial

piety to their parents, including providing material and emotional support. Their filial piety

might be following Chinese tradition because they were educated by their parents and teachers

about filial concepts from a young age, and it also could be reciprocal as a way to show their

gratitude to their elder parents for their efforts in raising them and caring for their children (Yeh

& Bedford, 2003). These findings of keeping traditional norms echo with research on the willing

practice of filial piety among one-child generations in China (Zhan, 2004). That research

suggests that the culture of filial piety is not declining and the one-child generation still firmly

keeps the tradition. However, other research suggests that relations between Chinese

grandparents and adult children seem to be becoming more egalitarian, as adult children gain









access to higher education and adopt Western ideologies (Chen & Silverstein, 2000). This study

also shows that grandparents may be turning over power to their adult children in the co-resident

family.

Another important aspect of Chinese culture based on Confucian teachings is an emphasis

on education and regarding it as a way to acquire "personal advancement", "higher social status",

"wealth" and "respect" (Lin & Fu, 1990, p. 430). From a traditional perspective, being successful

is not only a personal issue but also a family issue (Yau & Smetana, 1996). Success brings glory

to the whole family, while not being successful could bring disgrace to the Chinese family (Lin

& Fu, 1990). In Chinese utilitarian modern society, people with a high education, a high standard

of living, and a privileged position are regarded as being a success. The adult children of the

participants in this study were doctoral students or post doctoral fellows, clearly on the way to

success by Chinese standards. The grandparents felt a strong obligation to relieve their adult

children from child care so they could spend more time on their work or studies and achieve

success. Furthermore, achievement is the highest form of filial piety, as it honors the parents and

ancestors; the less is not to disgrace oneself and the least is to be able to support parents (Chao,

1983). From this perspective, Chinese grandparents' involvement in caring for grandchildren is a

way to help adult children practice filial piety.

With the modernization of Chinese society, the differences between Chinese families and

Western families appear to be diminishing, but the above aspects of Chinese culture will remain

and probably continue to be the distinguishing characteristics of Chinese culture (Philips et al,

1998).

Regarding sojourning status

The Chinese grandparents in my study encountered many changes during their stay in a

new country as they cared for grandchildren. They would usually stay in the U.S. less than one









year before going back to China. Language barriers and different living styles might be the

biggest intercultural stressors for elder sojourner. At the same time, they enjoyed the natural and

social environmental advances in the U.S. and these might be related to their well-being in a

positive way.

The Chinese grandparents in this study were in the U.S. temporarily. They had a chance to

enjoy their respected status and feel filial piety from their adult children, then returned to their

well-regarded status in China. In contrast, older Chinese immigrants do not necessarily live

together with their adult children or enjoy a privileged status in the U.S. society (Gee, 2000).

Both the grandparents and the adult children in my study are sojourning in a foreign

country. Most of the adult children of the participants were students or held postdoctoral

positions at a University. The adult children did not have stable status in the new country. They

lived in apartments; their living standard is comparatively low and they face the dilemma of

whether stay in the U.S. or go back to China. Thus the sojourning adult children's current life

could be a concern for their parents.

On the other hand, Chinese immigrant families may have a more stable financial situation

and grandparents visiting immigrant children may not be worried about adult children's financial

issues. However, there may be more intergenerational conflicts, especially with teenage

grandchildren who are adopting western lifestyles.

Among Chinese sojourning grandparents visiting sojourning adult children, sojourning

grandparents visiting immigrant adult children and Chinese elder immigrants, the first group

faces the greatest risk on medical issues as they are least likely to purchase medical insurance

due to their expected short stay in the U.S. and their adult children's low income. They can't









benefit from governmental medical services because as they do not have stable status in the U.S.

If they have a serious health problem, it could be a traumatic for the whole family.

Limitations

Methodological Considerations

This study used a cross-sectional design. The major limitation of a cross-sectional design is

that it can't provide information about change over time (De Vaus, 2001). The length of time of

grandparents' stay in the U.S. at the time of the interviews varied from one month to one and half

years. A longitudinal study design is suggested for future research to examine the changes in

Chinese grandparents' well-being during their stay in the U.S.

Nearly all participants reported that they lived in harmony with adult children and no

participants reported family conflicts. One reason might be that the study was based on self-

report and Chinese elder parents were reluctant to reveal conflicts in an interview. Chinese

culture values harmony, and Chinese people tend to avoid and ignore situations where there is

conflict, whereas North Americans generally try to find ways to resolve conflicts (Chiu &

Kosinski, 1994). In addition, the recording equipment might be a barrier to self-disclosure for the

participants, adding to their discomfort about revealing personal situations. It would be beneficial

in future research to combine observational methods with personal interviews to uncover their

family conflicts. Researchers that become part of the community where the participants are

located and build a good relationship with them before conducting interview, as with

ethnographic or participant observation methods, will likely have more success in tapping into

some of these concerns.

Another potential problem is that a self selection bias was operating whereby grandparents

who got along with their children chose to come to the U.S., while those with conflictual

relationships might have stayed for shorter periods of time or simply were unwilling to come to









the U.S. Another limitation with the sample was that the study participants were gathered

through referral sampling and the grandparents who had more social network linkages and

support were reached, while those with fewer contacts and lower well being might not have been

reached. Thus, the participants were not representative of all Chinese sojourning grandparents.

Moreover, the sample size of 30 people was comparatively small; a larger sample size is

suggested for future studies.

Moreover, there were limitations and challenges in using Western theory and research

instruments with Chinese grandparents and these may have affected study results by not

adequately tapping culturally-rooted factors affecting well-being. The results of studies of

resilience in African American families are instructive; these have shown that cultural factors,

such as spiritual and collective coping were just as important as family cohesion and social

support (Utsey et al, 2007). The measures used in the quantitative portion in this research didn't

tap into cultural factors that might affect the well-being of participants and this may have limited

our understanding of well-being. For example, cultural factors such as filial piety might be just

as important as family cohesion for Chinese elder people. In addition, some scale items were

difficult to translate into Chinese and appeared not to be culturally relevant or valid for Chinese

people. For instance, the items in the family cohesion scale, "Family members pair up rather than

do things as a total family," sounded confusing for most participants after translation because

there was lack of correspondent words for "pair up" in Chinese. Also some items in the social

support scale were too long and complex when translated into Chinese. As a result, some

participants were lost and asked me to explain when I read those items to them. In short, the

existing scales based primarily on Western families may in practice be Eurocentric and may not









be applied to wider, international audiences (see Ungar & Liebenberg, 2005, for similar

points). Culturally sensitive instruments are essential for cross-cultural research.

Furthermore, the ABC-X family stress model looks at the whole family as a system. This

study focused on individual grandparents as the unit of analysis instead of the family unit.

However, and most importantly, the concepts furnished by the ABC-X model served as a useful

guide for understanding stressors and coping.

Despite these limitations, this research provided a useful snapshot of Chinese sojourning

grandparents' lives in the U.S. and helped to frame their experiences in a cultural context. In

addition, it brought out limitations inherent in the process of conducting cross-cultural work that

researchers can take into account in the future.

Recommendations for Future Research

There is little previous research on Chinese sojourning people in the U.S., and is especially

limited with regard to sojourning older adults in the U.S. and in comparison with the more

permanent immigrant populations. It would also be beneficial to compare the different stressors

and resources of social support of Chinese grandparents visiting sojourning adult children and

immigrant adult children in the U.S.

Second, as the phenomenon of Chinese grandparents raising grandchildren intertwines

with Chinese culture, cross cultural studies need to examine the role of cultural factors in relation

to the well-being of Chinese people. It would be best to develop instruments for Asian and other

non-Western cultures. For example, an instrument to tap filial piety needs to be created for future

quantitative research on Chinese families. Besides examining the universal factors (such as

family cohesion), research on ethnic groups also need to explore the culturally specific factors

(Utsey et al, 2007). Importantly, qualitative studies provide a way of deeply understanding the

mental health and related factors of ethnic groups (Ungar & Liebengerg, 2005).









Furthermore, it would be interesting to discuss the issue of Chinese grandparents raising

grandchildren from the perspective of their adult children. Why did they invite elder parents to

give help in raising grandchildren? How do they benefit from grandparents' presence? What

kinds of difficulties or conflicts do they have in their family after their parents come to the U.S.?

What's their relationship with their parents? What do they think of the differences between

paternal grandparents and maternal grandparents? If they could choose one more time, would

they still invite grandparents to give help? These interesting questions deserve future exploration

to help better understand the Asian family experience in the U.S.

In addition, it needs to be noted that the majority of participants came to the U.S. with their

spouses. Future research could examine the influence of spouses on the grandparents' well-being.

Other demographic factors such as grandparents' education level and economic status could also

be explored in the relations to their well-being.

Finally, the importance of geographic location should be pointed out for resources of social

support of sojourning people. The study city is an urban area with a major state university. The

participants all lived in the apartment complexes near campus, where it is easy to encounter

Chinese people in their common living areas and outdoors, in courtyards and on playgrounds.

Future research might compare the experiences of Chinese sojourners in large metropolitan areas

with a large Chinese population, and smaller cities and rural areas with a small Chinese

population.

Implications for Practice

As extended family network and kin relationships are vital to Chinese families, both the

elder parents and the adult children in co-resident families may benefit from culturally-sensitve

family life education and perhaps counseling that facilitates the intergenerational relationship.

For instance, adult children could be encouraged to show their love and support to elder parents.









As most differences between Chinese grandparents and the adult children come from views

about the correct way of raising grandchildren, educational programs on child rearing that

facilitate intergeneration discussions could target both Chinese adult children and grandparents.

Although social support from the community was not significantly related to Chinese

grandparents' well-being, friends and activities in the community were still important resources

for them, keeping the grandparents occupied and enriching their lives. Data presented in Chapter

4 indicated that Chinese grandparents in the U.S. did not attend many activities. Practitioners

could provide opportunities for Chinese grandparents to interact with other Chinese elders in the

Chinese community. Housing offices could consider offering or arranging culturally appropriate

activities and planning Chinese cultural events and celebrations. As most grandparents missed

their group activities in China like dancing and taiji, and they have difficulties accessing

transportation, such activities are suggested to be held in the grandparents' residential areas.

Additionally, community programs could target Chinese families with activities involving all

family members.

Practitioners could facilitate Chinese grandparents' perspective and encourage them to be

less worried about the adult children's current life and work, when these concerns become

detrimental to their own well-being. Practitioners could also inspire Chinese grandparents to use

appropriate coping skills, such as gardening and exercising. Vegetable gardens could be provided

near the apartment complexes where Chinese families live. Since medical care is a big concern

for Chinese sojourning grandparents in the U.S., short term medical services should be provided

to the grandparents with the assistance of Chinese-speaking health care providers.









APPENDIX A
SELF-COMPLETED QUESTIONNAIRE

Part I How often do you have the following feeling or experience while you stay in the U.S?
Please circle the answers that best describes how often you feel this way.

1= Never, 2=Rarely, 3=0Occasionally, 4=Frequently, 5=Very frequently

1. Feel lonely. 1 2 3 4 5


2. Feel I have language barriers.

3. Feel at home.

4. Feel life is boring.

5. Feel isolated.


6. Feel inconvenienced to go around town by
myself.

7. Feel uncertain using public transportation.

8. Feel inconvenienced by where grocery stores are
located.

9. Feel adult children do not spend enough time
with me.

10. Feel a loss of power while living together with
adult children.

11. Feel my coming to the U.S put more financial
pressure to adult children.


1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5


1 2 3 4 5


1 2 3 4 5


1 2 3 4 5


1 2 3 4 5


1 2 3 4 5


1 2 3 4 5









Part II
Please indicate how strongly you agree or disagree with each of the following statement about
your community and family. Please circle the answers that best describes your situation.

l=Strongly Disagree, 2=Disagree, 3=Neutral, 4=Agree, 5=Strongly Disagree


1. If I had an emergency, even people I do not know in
this community would be willing to help.

2. I feel good about myself when I sacrifice and give time
and energy to members of my family.

3. The things I do for members of my family and they do
for me make me feel part of this very important
group.

4. People here know they can get help from the
community if they are in trouble.

5. I have friends who let me know they value who I am
and what I can do.

6. People can depend on each other in this community.

7. Members of my friend seldom listen to my problems or
concerns; I usually feel criticized.

8. My friends in this community are a part of my everyday
activities.

9. There are times when family members do things
that make other members unhappy.

10. I need to be very careful how much I do for my friends
because they take advantage of me.

11. Living in this community gives me a secure feeling.

12. The members of my family make an effort to show
their love and affection for me.

13. There is a feeling in this community that people should
not get too friendly with each other.


1 2 3 4 5


1 2 3 4 5



1 2 3 4 5



1 2 3 4 5


1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5


1 2 3 4 5


1 2 3 4 5


1 2 3 4 5


1 2 3 4 5


1 2 3 4 5


1 2 3 4 5



1 2 3 4 5









1=Strongly Disagree, 2=Disagree, 3=Neutral, 4=Agree, 5=Strongly Disagree


14. This is not a good community to bring children up in.

15. I feel secure that I am as important to my
friends as they are to me.

16. I have some very close friends outside the family who
I know really care for me and love me.

17. Members) of my family do not seem to understand
me, I feel taken for granted.


1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5


1 2 3 4 5


Part III Please indicate how strongly you agree or disagree with each of the following statement
about your family relationship. Circle the number that best describes your feelings.

l=Strongly Disagree, 2=Disagree, 3=Neutral, 4=Agree, 5=Strongly Disagree


1. Family members are supportive of each other during
difficult times.

2. It is easier to discuss problems with people outside the
family than with other family members.

3. Our family gathers together in the same room.

4. Our family does things together.


5 In our family, everyone goes his/her own way.

6. Family members know each other's close friends.

7. Family members consult other family members on their
decisions.

8. We have difficulty thinking of things to do as a family.


9 Family members feel very close to each other.


1 2 3 4 5


1 2 3 4 5


1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5


2 3 4 5


1 2 3 4 5


1 2 3 4 5









1=Strong Disagree, 2=Disagree, 3=Neutral, 4=Agree, 5=Strong Disagree

10. Family members feel closer to people outside the 1 2
family than to other family members.

11. Family members go along with what the family decides 1 2
to do.

12. Family members like to spend their free time with each 1 2
other.

13. Family members avoid each other at home. 1 2

14. We approve of each other's friends. 1 2

15. Family members pair up rather than do things as a total 1 2
family.

16. Family members share interests and hobbies with each 1 2
other.

Part IV How often in the past week did you have the following feeling? Plea
that best describe how you feel.
l=Never, 2=Rarely, 3=0Occasionally, 4=Frequently, 5=Always.

1. I felt I had as much energy as before. 1 2 3

2. I felt I was less useful. 1 2 3

3. I1 felt I had a lot of fun in life. 1 2 3

4. I felt depressed. 1 2 3

5. I1 felt unhappy. 1 2 3

6. I felt I had nothing to do. 1 2 3

7. I was willing to have contact with others. 1 2 3

8. I1 liked to be alone. 1 2 3

9. I became irritated. 1 2 3


3 4 5


3 4 5


3 4 5


3 4 5


se circle the number









Part V Demographic questions:
1. What is your age?
A. younger than 50 years old
B. 50-59 years old
C. 60 years old and above
D. 70-79 years old
E. 80 or above

2. What is your sex?
A. Male
B Female

3. What is your education level?
A. Less than high school
B. High school
C. Three years college
D. Four years University
E. Graduate degree

4. Where are you come from?
A. Rural China
B. Urban China

5. Do you come together with your spouse or by yourself?
A. With spouse
B. By myself

6 Are you paternal grandparent or maternal grandparent?
A. Paternal grandparent
B. Maternal grandparent

7. How many times have you been in the U.S before?
A. I never been in the U.S before.
B. I have been in the U.S once before I came this time.
C. I have been in the U. S twice before I came this time.
D. I have been in the U.S three times before I came this time.
E. I have been in the U.S more than three times before I came this time.

8 What is or are the age and gender of the grandchildren you are taking care of?


Grandchildren Age Gender
1
2
3
4












9. What is annual income in adult children's households who currently live together with you?
A. Below $ 10,000
B. $ 10, 001-20,000
C. $ 20,001-30,000
D. $ 30,001-40,000
E. Above $ 40,000
F. I don't know

10. Which village do you live currently?
A. Maguire/UVS
B. Diamond
C. Corry
D. Tanglewood
E. Sun island
F. Others









APPENDIX B
INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

1) Why did you come to the U.S.?

2) Tell me a little about the household you live in the U.S (adult children and the
grandchildren).

3) What do you think and feel about your life in the U.S.?

4) What difficulties and inconveniences you have in your life in the U.S?

5) What pleasures do you have?

6) What do you do to take care of your grandchildren?

7) What difficulties do you have in taking care of your grandchildren in the U.S?

8) How do you feel about the responsibility of raising grandchildren?

9) What do you usually do with your friends here?

10) How important are these friends important for your life here?

11) What kinds of activities do you attend here?

12) How are these important to your life here?

13) How do you get along with your adult children? Can you describe your relationship with
the adult children you live with?

14) What kinds of differences do you have with your adult children?

15) What are the different opinions you have on rearing grandchildren?

16) How do you feel about the differences with your adult children?

17) Did you have any health problems when you come here? What were those health
problems?

18) Do you have health insurance? Do you worry about this?

19) What did you expect your adult children's life to be like before you came to the U.S.?

20) How do you feel about their current quality of life?

21) How do you feel about their work or study in the U.S.?










22) What do you feel about the adult children's future?

23) In general, what are your feelings about being in the U.S?

24) Is there anything else affecting your well-being in the U.S.?









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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

Li Wu received her bachelor's degree in journalism and communication from Xiamen

University in China in 2002. Li Wu came to the U.S. together with her husband in 2004. She will

receive her master of science in family, youth and community sciences from University of

Florida in May 2008. After graduation, she plans to work in non-profit field in Asian countries,

helping families and children in adversity.





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1 LIVING EXPERIENCES, INTER CULTURAL STRESSORS, SOCI AL SUPPORT, FAMILY COHESION, AND EMOTI ONAL WELL-BEING OF CHINESE SOJOURNING GRANDPARENTS IN THE U.S. By LI WU A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2008

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2 2008 Li Wu

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3 This thesis is dedicated to Chinese grandpare nts, who tirelessly devot e their time and energy caring for their families.

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4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS It would have been im possible to complete this research with out the support and encouragement of many people. First of all, I w ould like to think to my committee members, Dr. Suzanna Smith, Dr. Kate Fogarty and Dr. ChuanKang Shih, for all their contributions to my thesis. I am so thankful to Dr. Smith, my committee chair who guided me through the whole process and spent a tremendous amount of time r eading and revising several drafts. Without her wisdom and patience, I would not have completed my thesis. I would like to thank Dr. Fogarty for her kindness and personal guidance. I also thank Dr. Shih for setting an excellent example for doing research on Chinese people with his devotion to his research participants, and for contributing his deep understandi ng of Chinese kinship systems. A lot of thanks go to my family members, my parents, my parents-in-law and my brother. I thank them for their unconditional love and contin uous support. Particularly, I want to thank my husband, Zuhui Chen, who always encouraged me to complete my graduate studies and is always with me in his heart even when we are not together. I am thankful for his love, and also for the affection of my son, Aden Chen. Many thanks go to the participants in my st udy. Their willingness to share experiences and feelings with me made me feel my goal was beyond completing my thesis; I needed make their life known by others. Special thanks go to Professor Chih-tang Sa h, my husbands Ph. D supervisor. I thank him for his support for my family. There are so many people I want to thank. I am grateful to my friends from Gainesville Chinese Christian C hurch. They give me a lot of emotional and instrumental support. Lastly, I thank God for my many blessings.

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5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...............................................................................................................4LIST OF TABLES................................................................................................................. ..........8LIST OF FIGURES.........................................................................................................................9ABSTRACT...................................................................................................................................10CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION..................................................................................................................12Purpose of the Study........................................................................................................... ....14Research Question.............................................................................................................. ....14Hypotheses..............................................................................................................................15Definition of Terms................................................................................................................15Intercultural Stressors......................................................................................................15Social Support.................................................................................................................16Family Cohesion..............................................................................................................16Well-Being..................................................................................................................... .17Chinese Sojourning Grandparents................................................................................... 17Limitations.................................................................................................................... ..........17Significance of the Study........................................................................................................182 LITERATURE REVIEW.......................................................................................................20Why Chinese Grandparents are Invol ved in Rearing Grandchildren.....................................21Chinese Sojourning Elders in the U.S. and Intercultural Stressors................................. 25Intergenerational Rela tionships in the Cont ext of Co-Residence.................................... 27Reference: U. S. Grandpare nts Rearing Grandchildren..................................................30Theoretical Framework.......................................................................................................... .31ABC-X Family Stress Theory......................................................................................... 31Stress, Social Support and Buffering Hypothesis............................................................ 33Circumplex Model of Marital and Family Systems........................................................ 343 METHODOLOGY................................................................................................................. 36Research Design.....................................................................................................................36Data Collection.......................................................................................................................36Population and Sample Selection.................................................................................... 36Procedure.........................................................................................................................37Instrumentation................................................................................................................ 38Intercultural stressors...............................................................................................38Social support index................................................................................................. 39

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6 Family adaptability and cohesion evaluation scales................................................ 39Philadelphia geriatric centre moral scale s houldnt this be in caps if it is a title of a scale?.............................................................................................................40Demographic questions............................................................................................40In-depth interview....................................................................................................41Instrument translation............................................................................................... 41Data Analysis...................................................................................................................414 RESULTS...............................................................................................................................43Sample Demographics............................................................................................................43Statistical Analysis........................................................................................................... .......44Hypotheses for Quantitative Inquiry...................................................................................... 45Qualitative Results............................................................................................................ ......47Theoretical Based Themes.............................................................................................. 47Stressors of Grandparents.........................................................................................47Resources.................................................................................................................53Perspective to stressors and resources...................................................................... 58Well-being................................................................................................................ 59Emergent Themesshould this be a centere d heading or is this where editorial wants it?.......................................................................................................................60Reasons for coming to the U.S................................................................................. 60Grandparents responsibility.................................................................................... 61Grandparents role....................................................................................................62Other factors related to well-being...........................................................................63Summary of the Qualitative Findings..................................................................................... 685 DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION.................................................................................... 82Research Questions............................................................................................................. ....82RQ1.What Are the Stressors of Chinese Co-resident Grandparents When They Travel from China to the U.S. on a B-2 Visa, Live Together with Their Adult Children and Are Involved in Rearing Grandchildren?...............................................82RQ2. To What Extent Do Intercultural Stressors, Social Support and Family Cohesion in Explaining the Well-being of Chinese Co-resident Grandparents in the U.S?........................................................................................................................82RQ3. How Do Maternal Gra ndparents and Paternal Gra ndparents Differ in Their Experiences of Intercultural Stressors Social Support, Family Cohesion and Well-being?..................................................................................................................83RQ4. How Do Grandmothers and Grandfat hers Differ in Their Experiences of Intercultural Stressors, Social Support s, Family Cohesion and Well-being?.............. 83RQ5. What Are Grandparents Perspec tives in Rearing grandchildren?........................ 84RQ6. What Are the Living experiences of Chinese grandparents in U.S?...................... 84Hypotheses..............................................................................................................................85Reflections on Findings in Rela tion to Previous Research..................................................... 86

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7 Stressors, Resources and Well-being..............................................................................86Maternal and Paternal Grandparents............................................................................... 88Grandfathers and Grandmothers......................................................................................89Rethinking the Theory Frame and Introducing Other Theories............................................. 90ABC-X Family Stress Theory......................................................................................... 90Other Theory Frames....................................................................................................... 91Rethinking Data from Multicultural Lens.......................................................................93Regarding Chinese culture....................................................................................... 93Regarding sojourning status.....................................................................................96Limitations.................................................................................................................... ..........98Methodological Considerations.......................................................................................98Recommendations for Future Research.........................................................................100Implications for Practice................................................................................................ 101APPENDIX A SELF-COMPLETED QUESTIONAIRE............................................................................. 103B INTERVIEW QUESTIONS................................................................................................. 109LIST OF REFERENCES.............................................................................................................111BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.......................................................................................................119

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8 LIST OF TABLES Table page 4-1 Intercultural stressors, social suppor t, fa mily cohesion and well-being summary statistics..............................................................................................................................77 4-2 Correlation and significan ce te st results between well-being and intercultural stressors, social support, and family cohesion................................................................... 77 4-3 Predictive power of interc ultural stressors, social suppor t and fa mily cohesion on the variance in grandparents well-being................................................................................. 77 4-4 Multivariable linear regression model summary for independent and dependent variables .............................................................................................................................77 4-5 Skewness and kurtosis of maternal grandpa rents and paternal grandparents in term s of intercultural stressors, social s upport, family cohesion and well-being........................ 78 4-6 Mann-Whitney U test: maternal grandpa rents and paternal grandparents on the ranking of intercultural stre ssors, social support, fa m ily cohesion and well-being........... 78 4-7 Skewness and kurtosis of grandfathers a nd grandm others in terms of intercultural stressors, social support, fa mily cohesion and well-being.................................................78 4-8 Mann-Whitney U test: grandfathers and gr andmothers on the ranki ng of intercultural stressors, social support, fa m ily cohesion and well-being.................................................79 4-9 Themes and categories based on theory frame.................................................................. 80 4-10 Emerged themes and categories......................................................................................... 81

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9 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 3-1 Theoretical conceptualization of interc ultural stressors, soci al support, family cohesion and well-being of Chin ese sojourning grandparents. ......................................... 35 4-1 Distribution of participants by age group ..........................................................................70 4-2 Distribution of participants by gender. ..............................................................................71 4-3 Proportion of paternal an d m aternal grandparents............................................................. 72 4-4 Distribution of first gran dchilds age excluding outlier ..................................................... 73 4-5 Distribution of particip ants current living place ...............................................................74 4-6 Distribution of adult childrens household incom e............................................................75 4-7 Distribution of grandpare nts tim e in the U.S.................................................................... 76

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10 Abstract of Thesis Presen ted to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science LIVING EXPERIENCES, INTER CULTURAL STRESSORS, SOCI AL SUPPORT, FAMILY COHESION, AND EMOTI ONAL WELL-BEING OF CHINESE SOJOURNING GRANDPARENTS IN THE U.S. By Li Wu May 2008 Chair: Suzanna D. Smith Major: Family, Youth and Community Sciences Rearing grandchildren is a cultural imperativ e for Chinese grandparents and takes place in a multigenerational context. Chinese grandparents liv e with their adult children and aid in rearing grandchildren out of obligati on, love, and sense of duty. A mixed-methods study was conducted to explore the stressors for Chinese grandparent s sojourning to the U.S., the ways they coped, and their well-being while living abroad. The ABCX family stress model served as the theory frame. The subjects of this study were 30 grandp arents living in apartment complexes near a state university. The study hypot hesized that grandparents who scored higher on intercultural stressors, lower on family cohesion and lower so cial support would have lower levels of wellbeing. The study also compared paternal and ma ternal grandparents, and grandfathers and grandmothers, on these independent and dependent variables. The re sults of the quantitative data analysis indicated that family cohesion was an important predictor of well-being but that intercultural stressors and social support were not significantly related to well being. Regarding gender differences, grandfathers had higher levels of social support than grandmothers. However, there were no differences between mate rnal grandparents and paternal grandparents. The results of in-depth intervie ws brought out other factors relate d to intercultural stressors and

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11 well-being. Additionally, the qualita tive findings showed that grandparents played important care giving roles, not only for their grandchildren, but for their adult children as well, as they pursue advanced degrees in the U.S. Chinese sojourners in the U.S. still maintain traditional family values, such as family cohesion and filial piety, these findings are discussed in the context of Chinese kinship systems.

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12 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Grandparents routine involvem ent in rear ing grandchildren is a common phenomenon among Chinese family. The circumstances surro unding Chinese grandparents involvement are different than American grandpa rents who are more likely to serve as surrogate parents only when adult children have problems such as child abuse, drug use, divorce, and mental illness (Dolbin-MacNab, 2006). Rearing gra ndchildren is a tradition for Ch inese grandparents that takes place in a multigenerational context (Goh, 2006). Ex tended family that includes elder parents, their unmarried children, married sons and the daughters-in-law living to gether was the typical form of Chinese family structure before the revolution in 1949 (Goh, 2006). In this structure, Chinese grandparents were natura lly involved in caring for gra ndchildren. Although the extended family is almost disappearing, the stem family w ith at least one parent living with one married child and his or her family is still an important family form in modern China (Wang, 2006). Stem families represent 16 percent of families in urba n China and 25 percent in rural areas (Wang, 2006). Housing shortages and the need for help w ith child caring are important reasons for coresidence (Zhang, 2004). The practice of Chinese grandparents caring for grandchildren is rooted in Chinese culture. The collective culture values familism, which emphasizes kinship relations of extended family members and intergenerational fa mily ties (Feldman, Mont-Reyna ud & Rosenthal, 1992; MjeldeMossey, Chi & Lou, 2006; Wu & Tseng, 1985). The family is the primary union of Chinese society that meets individual n eeds, without assistance from non-kinship groups, and there is strong emotional ties and mutual depende ncy among family members (Hsu, 1972). With familism as a guiding principle of Chinese life, Chinese grandparents have a strong obligation to

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13 help caring for grandchildren. They also care for gra ndchildren out of love as they regarded it as a way of enjoying family happiness to be with grandchildren (Sheng & Settles, 2006). Chinese adult children who migrate to a new count ry for study or work still keep the norm of inviting their parents to assist in raising grandchildren (Da, 2003). When Chinese grandparents come to a new country, they face a whole array of circumstances they wouldnt encounter while fulfilling their grandparent roles in China, in cluding sojourning adaptation, loss of their former social networ k, and unfamiliarity with lifestyle s in a new country. We would expect these to affect the well-being of Chinese grandparents, but because of lack of research on this topic the sojourning experien ces and family adjustment are largely unclear. For example, while Chinese grandparents ma y feel enjoyment from a reunion with their adult children, there is much pot ential for conflict. Grandparent s are likely to have different values or living habits from adu lt children based on generational and situational differences, and conflicts may result. Furthermore, conflict betw een a mother-in-law and daughter-in-law, a noted ongoing issue for Chinese Families (Davis-Friedmann, 1991; Wolf, 1968) is likely to also emerge in a cross-cultural setting. Although Chinese grandparents would seem to play an important role in grandchildrearing, even traveling great dist ances to support their families, th ere is little research on Chinese co-resident grandparents in their homeland (Falbo, 1991; Goh, 2006) or in a foreign country (Da, 2003). The focus of Falbos work was on grandpa rents impact on grandchildren. Goh (2006) examined intergenerational di fferences of opinion about raising grandchildren through interviews with adult children and grandparents. Da (2003)s work explored adult childrens views on Chinese grandparents involvement in raising grandchildren in Australia, focusing on Chinese cultural background and gender ideology as the reasons for Chinese grandparents

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14 involvement. Prior research has not investigated the well-being of Chinese grandparents as they care for grandchildren, nor gender differences among Chinese grandparents in well-being thus far. In particular, the living e xperiences and well-being of Chines e sojourning grandparents in a new country and their roles in thei r immigrant families remains unexplored. There is good reason to look at Chinese grandpa rents in the context of the United States. According to Open Doors, the annual report on international educational exchange, mainland China was the origin of the second largest number of international student s studying in the U.S., experiencing a 8% increase in the year 2007 to nearly 68,000 Chinese stud ents attending colleges and universities in the U.S. (Institution of Intern ational Education, 2008). Although there are no statistics on the portion of Chines e grandparents who in the U.S., it is likely that the number of Chinese grandparents temporarily living in the U.S. to help car e for grandchildren has also increased. In these situations, grandparents are co nsidered sojourners, or temporary migrants, rather than immigrants, or permanent migrants (Matsumoto et al, 2001). Purpose of the Study The prim ary purpose of the study was to furt her our understanding of Chinese sojourning grandparents in the U.S by examining the roles, the experiences and well-being of Chinese grandparents raising grandchildren in a new c ountry and. Moreover, the study sought to find out whether ABC-X family stress model applicable in a cross cultural content by exploring the stressors Chinese grandparents experienced, ways they coped, and factors associated with their well-being. Research Question The study addressed the following research questions regarding Chinese sojourning grandparents caring tem porarily for grandchildren in the U.S.

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15 RQ1.What are stressors do Chinese sojourning grandparents face when they travel from China to the U.S, live together with thei r adult children and ar e involved in rearing grandchildren? RQ2. To what extent do intercultural stressor s, social support and family cohesion explain the well-being of Chinese co-res ident grandparents in the U.S? RQ3. How do maternal grandparents and patern al grandparents differ in their experiences of intercultural stressors, social s upport, family cohesion and well-being? RQ4. How do grandmothers and grandfathers diffe r in their experiences of stressors, social support, family cohesion and well-being? RQ5. What are these grandparents pers pectives on rearing grandchildren? RQ6. What are the living experiences of Chin ese grandparents in U.S? Hypotheses H1A: Intercultural stressors, social support and family cohesion will be related to the wellbeing of Chinese sojourning grandparents. H1O: Intercultural stressors, social support, fa mily cohesion and well-being will not be related to the well-being of Ch inese sojourning grandparents. H2A: Maternal grandparents will report higher levels family cohesion and wellbeing than paternal grandparent s and well-being. H2O: There will be no difference between maternal a nd paternal grandpare nts in levels of family cohesion or well-being. H3A: Grandmothers will report higher levels of in tercultural stressors, social support, and well-being than grandfathers. H3O: There are no gender differences between gr andmothers and grandfathers in their reports of intercultural stressors, social support, and well-being. Definition of Terms Intercultural Stressors The definition of intercu ltural stressors was based on the definition of acculturation stressors. Acculturation refers to changes resulting from contact between two distinct cultures, which is marked by physical and psychological ch anges required in diet, climate, housing, interactional styles, norms, and values to a new culture (Nwadoria & McAdoo, 1996, p.477).

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16 Acculturation stressors are the challenges or diffi culties stemming from the differences between a host culture and an incoming culture (Nwadoria & McAdoo, 1996). As the pa rticipants in this study were just visiting, they probably did not have time to become acculturated, nor was it their goal to become a part of the new culture. For these reasons, the term, acculturation, does not fit well to sojourners. Instead, I chos e the term, intercultural stressors to refer to the challenges or difficulties encountering a new culture. Social Support This research adopts th e definition of so cial support from McCubbin, Patterson and Glynns (1982) Social Support Index (SSI), wh ich evaluated the degree to which family members are integrated into the community and view the community as a source of support. Social support has the functi ons of emotional support, est eem support, network support and appraisal support (Cooke, Rossmann, McCubbin & Patterson, 1988, p. 213). Emotional support makes one feel loved or cared for; esteem support makes one feel valued and respected; network support gives one a sense of belonging a nd security; appraisal s upport provides advice for dealing with difficulties; a nd altruistic support makes one feel worthwhile for what he or she does for other people. The sources of social support in this study in clude friends in the community, community and church activities. Family Cohesion This research uses Olson, Russell & Sprenkl e (1983)s definition of fam ily cohesion as the emotional bonding that family members have toward one another (p.70). Family cohesion in this study refers to this emotional atta chment between Chinese grandparents and adult children.

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17 Well-Being The psychological well-being of older adults has been widely studied by social and psychological researchers in the past 40 years (Sc hwirian & Schwirian, 1993). The definition on well-being involves two dimensions (Schwirian & Schwirian, 1993). Some researchers focus on the dimension of life satisfaction (e. g., Neugart en, Havighuri & Tobin, 1961), while others focus on peoples satisfaction with themselves (e.g., Lawton, Kleban & diCarlo, 1984) (Schwirian & Schwirian, 1993). The definition of well-being used here has incorporated both the dimension of life satisfaction and an internal state. Specific cr iteria are described in the Methodology chapter. Chinese Sojourning Grandparents In this study this term refers to Chinese gr andparents holding B-2 vi sa and staying in the U.S. temporarily. Generally speaking, these Chines e grandparents were issued a visa for a six months stay, and they could ex tend their stay to one year or longer with approval. For the purpose of this study, sojourning is defined as a less than 12 months stay in the U.S. Limitations Only the population of sojourning grandparent s residing near a larg e southern university was included in this study, so results cannot be generalized to the larger population of grandparents in the U.S. Furtherm ore, the grandp arents stressors are not representative of all Chinese grandparents in the U.S, but apply only to those sojourning grandparents. Also, grandparents in this study mainly lived in family housing apartments, where they typically encountered other Chinese families. Their social support from this community might be different than that of elder immigrants who live in houses and perhaps are more isolated. Furthermore, the adult children were mostly students or post-doctor al staffs at UF; thei r financial condition was likely to be less stable than Chinese immigrants with regular employme nt. Despite the focused

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18 nature of the sample it provides a snapshot of th e situation for grandparent s who join their adult children while they advance their studies at a U.S. university. Finally, the research is based on a cross-sectional design; therefore, it is hard to tell the direction of causal links (Bryman, 2004). It is hard to say whethe r the grandparents intercultural stressors and social support determine the well -being of the grandparents, or their well-being prior to coming to the U.S. in fluence their intercultural stressors and social support. Significance of the Study Although it is common for Chinese grandparents to be involved in rearing grandchildren, there are few studies on this topic. F urthermor e, no articles focus on the well-being of Chinese grandparents, especially the we ll-being of Chinese grandparents sojourning in another country. There is some research on the well-being of Chinese or Asian older immigrants who have established permanent residency in U.S. (Gee, 2000; Moon, 1996; Mui, 1998; Vo-Thanh-Xuan & Liamputtong, 2003). These immigrants might live in the new country for many years and not necessarily with their adult children. The grandparent s in this study lived in the U.S. temporarily and all lived together with their adult children. The relationship with a dult children is a vital coping strategy for this special gr oup and also a potential source of strain and tension. In short, this study provides new information on the experi ence and well-being of th e older generation in a unique form of transnational family. Furthermore, the existing research on Chines e grandparents raising grandchildren and the large amount of research on American grandpare nting mainly focuses on grandmothers and do not examine the involvement of grandfathers. This research studied both grandmothers and grandfathers and documented the differences betw een grandfathers and grandmothers. According to Chinese patrilineal tradition, there should be more paternal grandpare nts involved in caring grandchildren. However, with one child policy in China, the preference on sons is on the

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19 decrease. And the relationship between mother-inlaw and daughter-in-law is hard to deal with for Chinese families. This study examined the differences between maternal and paternal grandparents, which are not addr essed in previous research. The mixed methods in this study have stre ngths for cross-cultur al studies (Ungar & Liebengerg 2005). Quantitative research is he lpful for exploring the relationship among constructs in theory frame. Qua litative research contextualizes th e key concepts in theory frame and is useful for understanding the experiences of participan ts. Moreover, the results from qualitative portion of this study supported a nd expanded quantit ative results in cultural and environmental contexts. Regarding possible future applications of fi ndings, it is anticipated that the information from this study may be useful to practitioners who are in a position to supply services to sojourning grandparents. Also, th is study provides useful information and increases awareness of the needs and well-being of Chinese grandparent s among adult children, as well as in the host community. Supportive services and counseling servic es may be helpful both to the grandparents and their adult children

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20 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW A comm on phenomenon for Chinese families is fo r grandparents to be involved in rearing grandchildren, and in fact this pattern is embe dded in traditional Chinese family structure and functions (Goh, 2006). Rooted in Confucian id eology, the extended family system was the typical Chinese family form before Mao. There were several generations in the family and more than one married child with his or her spouse and children would remain in the family of orientation (Davis & Harrell, 1993). The most di stinctive character of the traditional Chinese family is that it was, and to a large extent still is, patriarchal, as well as patrilineal (Meredith & Abbott, 1995). Elder parents lived together with unmarried children, married sons, daughter-inlaws and grandchildren. The oldest male headed the family and was the ultimate authority, and the family line was passed through sons. Furthermore, the Chinese economy, based on agricultural production, required collective labor. With additional laborers, extended families have more advantages than the nuclear family in terms of providing for family members and ensuring economic security (Meredith & Abbott, 1995). With Chinese modernization, the extended family is becoming less common, while the nuclear family is becoming the normative Chines e family structure (Wang, 2006). At the same time, the stem family at least one parent living wi th one adult married child and his or her family (called Zhi Xi Jia Ting in Chinese) is still an important form of Chinese family structure. Using a sample (1 percent) from the Chinese census in 2000, Wang (2006) analyzed Chinese family structure and found that in urban areas, 71% of families are nuclear in structure, 16% are stem families, 10% are single and 0.7% are extended families. In rural areas, 66% of families are nuclear families, 25% are stem families, 8% are single and 0.5% are extended family. From these figures, we can tell that extended families are less than one percent in urban areas and villages;

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21 around twenty percent of Chinese families are in tergenerational co-resident families; and the majority of households are nuclear families. Literature on Chinese family structure doe snt show whether intergenerational coresidence is temporary or lasts unt il the death of elder parents. It is mentioned in the literature that more and more Chinese people prefer non-co residence. In Logan & Bians (1999) study of urban elder people, only 30 percent of elder parents indicated they pr eferred to live together with adult children. The actual living ar rangement depends on elder parent s needs as well as adult childrens needs (Zhang, 2004). On th e one hand, with the lack of a social security system for elders in China, adult children still have a filial oblig ation to care for parents; on the other hand, adult children need to live together with their parents due to housing shortages and need their help in child rearing (Zhang, 2004) Today, newly married couples can hardly afford to purchase a house. They may choose to live in the house of their parents if they live in the same area. Grandparents, especially grandmot hers, are regarded as the impor tant resource for child rearing in China. While some couples send their childre n to the grandparents home, more often, the grandparents live with their adult children at least temporarily to help raise grandchildren. The odds of multi-generational co-residence are grea ter when young couples have a child less than 3 years old compared with having an older child (Zhang, 2004). When the children are more than 3 years old, their parents can se nd them to daycare or preschool while they are at work. Why Chinese Grandparents are Involved in Rearing Grandchildren Guberm an, Maheu & Maille s ( 1992) research on why women are family caregivers found that a feeling of obligation mi xed with love and responsibilit y motivated women to care for a dependent person. The finding can be used to expl ain why Chinese grandpar ents are involved in rearing grandchildren. Chinese el der grandparents have strong ob ligation of doing something for their children to reduce their burden. Furthermor e, for Chinese people, having children means a

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22 lifelong commitment that lasts th rough their childrens adulth ood. (Da, 2003). Even after the adult children are married and have their own children, Chinese grandparents, both grandmothers and grandfathers, feel th at caring for grandchildren is a way to help their adult children put their energy into career, which is im portant in Chinese modern soci ety. Chinese grandparents also care for grandchildren out of love; they regard grandchild-re aring as enjoying family happiness (Sheng, 1991, as cited in Sheng, 2006, p. 304). Moreover, rearing grandchildren is also a cultural imperative for Chinese elders (MjeldeMossey, Chi & Lou, 2006, p.20). Based in Confucianism, Chinese elders are highly respected and honored in the society. They are expected to play a meani ngful role in both family and society by giving advice, comfort and help, thus ensuring harmony with nature. (Mjelde-Mossey, Chi & Lou, 2006). Adult children usually assume th at grandparents will he lp with child care once the grandchildren are born. Chinese culture values familism, which emphasizes the kinship relations of extended family members and puts the needs of family above the individual (DeGenova, 2008; Feldman, Mont-Reynaud & Rosenthal, 1992; Kang, Shaver, Sue, Min & Jing, 2003; Mjelde-Mossey, Chi & Lou, 2006). Chinese people also emphasize inte rgenerational family ties (Feldman, MontReynaud & Rosenthal, 1992). The involvement in r earing grandchildren is an expression of the intergenerational tie for Chinese grandparents, particularly, for Chinese grandmothers (Chen, Short & Entwisles, 2000, p.572). Filial piety, whic h emphasizes devotion and service to elder people, is the cornerstone of Chinese traditional values (Da, 2003; Mjelde-Mossey, Chi & Lou, 2006; Short, Sheng & Settles, 2006; Zhai, Xu & Yang, 200; Vo-Thanh-Xuan & Lianputtong, 2003; Williams, Mehta & Lin, 1999). Although the Chinese Communist Party has broken away from some elements of filial piety, such as obe ying parents absolutely and holding a traditional

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23 funeral, the traditional value of interdependence between pare nts and children has never been attacked (Davis-Friedman, 1991). Furthermore, with the political and econo mic changes recently taking place, young generations have begun to take on some Western values and practices, and intergenerational relati ons tend to be more egalitarian (C hen & Silverstein, 2000; Yuan 1987). Filial piety in China today can be understood as an intergenerational commitment that works reciprocally (Da, 2003). A dult children are an important source of elder care, and on the other hand, elder parents are importa nt source of daily help for adult children (Sheng & Settles, 2006). This help includes temporary housing, fina ncial support, housework and taking care of grandchildren (Sheng & Settles, 2006). In a study of Chinese grandparents raising gran dchildren in Australia, Da (2003) regarded Chinese-Australian adult children inviting their elder pa rents to Australia as conveying a deep meaning of filial piety. The trav eling cost and living expense fo r Chinese grandparents is higher than using a local baby sitter. Chinese Australia ad ult children are willing to pay the cost for their elder parents who have few chances to go abroad. On the other hand, the quality and safety of care of for grandchildren and emotional comfort for the migrant parents given by Chinese grandparent is priceless (Da, 2003, p. 20). A recent emphasis on Chinese womens employment combined with deficient childcare in China is another important reason for car ing grandchildren (Goh, 2006; Zhang, 2004). In Chinese traditional society, Confucian ideology s upported that women were subordinate to men and should stay at home to care for domestic duties and the family. Three obedience and four virtues doctrines were the idea expected for al l women in Chinese trad itional society (Ma, 1963, as cited in Lee, 1995). The three obedience means a woman should obey her father when single, obey her husband when married, and obe y her son when the husband dies (Zuo, 1959, as

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24 cited in Lee, 1995). With the founding of the Pe oples Republic in 1949, the new party wanted to break through Chinese traditiona l ideology and regarded womens enrollment in the labor force was the key to equality and liberty for wo men (Bauer, Riley & Zhao, 1992). Thus, the government has implemented policies that lead women into the labor force. Chinese womens involvement in the labor force increased sharply since the new government (Bauer, Riley & Zhao, 1992). Gohs (2006) research on Chinese grandparents and adult children indicated it was rare for the mothers to stay at home and take care of children in contemporary China. Chinese women regard employment as both a way of bringing income back home and enhancing their social status (Goh, 2006). Furthermore, mothers usually have to return to work right after maternity leave, wh ich lasts around six months; because movement in and out of wage jobs was difficult since labor supply far exceeded the demand (Chen, Short & Entwisle, 2000, p.572). Part-time, temporary and self-employed jobs are not common in China and most often, women return to full time, y ear round jobs (Chen, Short & Entwisle, 2000; Da, 2003, Goh, 2006). At the same time, child-care facilities are limite d in China. Urban cities provide child-care, but these mainly target toddlers and pre-school ch ildren and infant care is scarce. There are few child care facilities for children under prim ary school age in rural places (Chen, Short & Enterwisle, 2000). What is more, Chin ese parents think it is best fo r infants to be raised at home (Meredith & Abbott, 1995). There are no formal baby sitters in China. Domestic helpers mainly from villages are often viewed as unreliable (G oh, 2006). For instance, in a study of grandparents raising grandchildren in urban China, Goh (2006) reported that one mother found that her baby crying in the balcony in the cold whether while the helper was dryi ng her hair. Later the

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25 grandparents became the babys caregivers. Chines e parents regard grandparents as the most trustworthy care giver to grandchildren (Goh, 2006). With inadequate provision of child care, young couples often turn to grandparents for help (Chen, Short & Entwisle, 2000; Zhang, 2004). Chinese grandparents take for granted that they will be involved rearing grandchildren (Treas & Mazumdar, 2004). Grandparents are the persons adult children feel most comforta ble taking care of the grandch ildren since they have genuine love for the little ones (Goh, 2006; Xie, 1994). Furthermore, the Chinese tradition of doi ng the month might c ontribute to the coresidence of grandparents with their adult children. D oing the month is a post partum practice of Chinese women (Holrlyd & Katie, 1997; Hung & Chung, 2001), when the mother is advised to take at least 30 days to recover from gi ving birth. During that period of time, women eat specific foods; avoid bathing, and rest, prefer ably in bed (Holrlyd & Katie, 1997). Generally speaking, it is the grandparents who come to help doing the month (Leung, Arthur & Martinson, 2005). They prepare me als especially the specific f oods, do housework and take care of the babies. Chinese Sojourning Elders in the U.S. and Intercultural Stressors Chinese overseas popu lation has steadily increa sed in recent decades (Poston, Mao & Yu. 1994). Many of these immigrant families contai n sojourning grandparents helping with grandchildren (Treas & Mazumdar, 2004). The reas ons for Chinese grandparents involved in rearing grandchildren overseas are similar with which domestically. Chinese sojourners and first generation immigrants in the foreign countries also value kinship relations and are deeply influenced by filial piety, which is an important reason for Chinese grandparents rearing grandchildren (Da, 2003). Second, Chinese women immigrants bring thei r gender role ideology to the new country. Das (2003) study found that although Australia discourages womens

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26 employment with social policie s and welfare benefits, and Chinese immigrant families may not have a financial need for womens employment, Chinese women immigrants still regard employment as important. Chinese sojourning gra ndparents are an important resource to help these mothers to return to work or study soon after they have their babies. Still Chinese grandparents are the ones parents feel most comf ortable with taking care of the grandchildren, whether in China or in foreign countries (Da, 2003). When Chinese grandparents come to a new c ountry, they come into contact with a new culture and during the process of acculturation, elders meet many difficulties. As both the sojourning elders and elder immigran ts have intercultural stressors, and there is lack of research on sojourning elders. Research on acculturation stressors of elder immigrants was reviewed. Acculturation stressors include being deprived of a social network, language barriers, lacking transportation, losing power in the household, lack of le isure activities and financial dependency (Moon, 1996; Mui, 1998; Treas & Mazumdar, 2002; Vo-Thanh-Xuan & Liamputtong, 2003). The greatest difficulty they have to deal with is social isolation (Vo-ThanhXuan & Liamputtong, 2003). Most of new elder im migrants cant speak English, neither can they drive. This makes them f eel isolated and unable to cont rol their own daily life (Treas & Mazumdar, 2002; Vo-Thanh-Xuan & Liamputtong, 2003). Busy with childcare and housework and isolated from society, gra ndparents have few chances to atte nd leisure activities, which they might enjoy in their home country and life can be boring (Treas & Mazumdar, 2002). Losing their social network, the grandpare nts feel lonely in the new count ry and then adult children may not be an available source of support. They are bu sy with their work or studies and may not meet the elder parents expectation for compani onship (Trea & Mazumdar, 2002). Concerns about visa status also cause worries. Chinese gra ndparents dependence on a dult children and their

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27 value of family collectivism lead them defer to the desi re of young generation (Treas & Mazumdar, 2002). Although the grandparents might have different opinions on living arrangements and grandchild rear ing, they choose to respect the adult childrens authority since they think they live in their adult childrens hous ehold. This lose of power is a stressor for coresident grandparents (T reas & Mazumdar, 2002). Studies of Australian-Vietnamese grandpa rents (Vo-Thanh-Xuan & Liamputtong, 2003) and the study on Latina-American grandparents (Goodman & Sillverstein, 2005) showed kinship and lower internal conflicts were vital to the well-being to the elder im migrations. Research on Hispanic elders in the U.S. (Mui, 1996) and Korean elder immigrants in U.S. (Moon, 1996) found that cultural context was a factor in fam ily social support. Family support might not be positively associated with elders well-being for all ethnic groups, but it is an important factor related to the groups that value family together ness (Mui, 1996). It is not the size of family network but the elder immigrants satisfaction to family support that co rrelated with elder peoples well-being (Mui, 1998). Family relationshi p was found to be a predictor of satisfaction of Chinese Canadian elders (Gee, 2000). Demogr aphic factors as age, sex, education level, travels with or without the co mpany of spouse, and income are associated with depression among Chinese elder immigrants (Mui, 1998). Intergenerational Relationships in the Context of Co-Residence Research on well-being of Chinese elders ha s indicated that harm onious relationship with adult children is an important predicator of beneficial we ll-being (Chen &Silverstein, 2000; Zhang & Yu, 1998). However, the conflicts betw een mothers-in-law an d daughters-in-law are common in Chinese co-resident families (D avis-Friedmann, 1991; Martine, 2000; Treas & Mazumdar, 2002). In the past, these were rooted in the traditional patri lineal family, where the daughter-in-law was considered in ferior. In Chinese traditional society, a daughter-in-law moved

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28 into her in-laws house as a newcomer after ma rriage and was a stranger to the family and the community (Davis-Friedmann, 1991). The elder wo man in the household had the authority and power. The daughter-in-law was ofte n criticized, scolded, and even beaten by her mother-in-law; and a husband could not display any affection out side of their private bedroom (Wolf, 1968). Wolf (1968) proposed that the s ource of the tension between mo ther-in-law and daughter-in-law was competition for the loyalty and affection of the young man who is the older womans son and the younger womans husband (p.869). DavisFriedmann (1991) revealed that at the beginning of co-residence, the mother-in-law is especially watchful of any waste of the daughter-in-law and conflict on household mismanag ement were endless (p.72). Later research on Chinese intergenerational relationships showed that elder people feel they are losing control and power in the family with modernizati on (Sheng & Settles, 2006; Williams, Mehta & Lin, 1999). The balance of power is shifting from th e older to the younger generation, which is better educated and more likely to be employed outside the home (Williams, Mehta & Lin, 1999). As young women become more highly e ducated and earn money for the family, they are gaining authority in the household (Da, 2003; Willia ms, Mehta & Lin, 1999). Daughters-in-law are seldom controlled by mothers-in-law, especially in urban places in contemporary China. The sources of conflicts between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law in modern society not only include being jealous of moth ers-in-law but also their diffe rent cultural b ackground and living situations. The mothers-in-law has grown up in a comparatively old culture while the daughterin-law lives in a new culture (Williams, Mehta & Lin, 1999). While the older generation places more value on obedience, the younger generation strives for independence and freedom. In terms of raising grandchildren, the two might di sagree with each other on disciplining, feeding, educating, dressing, potty training and other aspect s of child care. The grandmother may wish to

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29 supervise the young mother in caring for her child or even feel the need to intervene if the young mother does not raise the child in the way she thinks proper (Wolf, 1970). Also the grandparents tend to indulge grandchildren. She will most likely interfere if she thinks the young mother disciplines the grandchild in a way more harshl y than she expected (Wolf, 1970). In in-depth interview conducted by Goh (2006), a young mother complained that her mother-in-law asked her not to hit the child when she was punish ing the young child for bad behavior. Another young mother complained that her in-laws gave the gra ndchild candies and cookies as treats, which she thought were harmful for her daughters system. The research literature shows th at the percentage of grandpare nts co-residence with sons is much higher than with daughters (Logan, Bian & Bian, 1998; Martine, L 2000; Short, Zhai, Xu &Yang, 2006; Williams, Mehta & Lin, 1999). This is due to the traditional ideology in Chinas patrilineal society that only a son can ca rry on the family line. The daughter is just a temporary member of the family and belongs to her husbands family after marriage (Williams, Mehta & Lin, 1999; Short, Zhai, Xu &Yang, 2006) Although the percenta ge of living with husbands parents is higher than with wives parents, the gap has decreased. One reason is young womens higher education and enrollment in labor force, which leads them to break the tradition and chose to live with their ow n parents (Logan, Bian & Bian, 1998) The other reason is that because of Chinas one child policy, it is impo ssible for most families to have both sons and daughters. The one child policy is weakening Chin ese peoples preference for boys, especially in urban areas. Fertility Surveys conducted in 1985-1987 showed that the percentage of living with wifes parents in Shanghai and Beijing, the biggest cities in China, was 2.3 times greater than the other nine provinces where rural places are th e majority (Zeng, Li, and Ma, 1991: 425, cited in Zeng 2002). More and more urban el der people prefer to live togeth er with daughters since they

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30 give better emotional support and daily ca re (Sheng & Settles, 2006; Zeng 2002). Although paternal grandparents are still important sources of child care, the involvement in child care from the maternal side is on the increase (Goh, 2006). Reference: U. S. Grandparents Rearing Grandchildren Little research has been conducted on Chinese co-resident grandparents rearing grandchildren with the exception of Falbo (1991), Da (2003) and Goh (2006). However, with the dram atic increase of grandparents raising grandchildren in the U. S. in the recent decades, American researchers have addressed this i ssue (Dolbin-MacNab, 2006; Kelly, Whitley, Sipe & Yorker, 2000; Landry-Meyer, Gerard & Guzell, 2005; Mills, Gomez-Smith & De Leon, 2005; Ross & Aday, 2006; Sands & Goldberg-Glen, 2000). U.S. Census reports indicated that in 2000 there were 5.8 million co-resident grandparents who lived with grandchildren under age 18 (U. S. Census, 2000). Different from Chinese grandpar ents, most of whom have a joint mission with adult children on rearing grandc hildren, 2.4 million (40 percent) American grandparents had the primary responsibility for their grandchild ren under age 18 in 2000 (U. S. Census, 2000). American grandparents rearing grandchildren main ly because of the problems of young parents, including: child maltreatment, AIDS, divorce, drug abuse, mental and physical illness, teen pregnancy and imprisonment of parents (Dolbi n-MacNab, 2006). More than one third of coresident grandparents live in a skipped generation family with th e absence of the parents (U.S. Census, 2000). Research on American grandparents raising grandchildren includes the following areas: description of demographic and economic char acter of grandparent-maintained households (Crisper & Bryson, 1998), grandparent-grandchildre n relationship (Brown, 2003), role conflicts of grandparents (Laudry-Meyer & Newman, 200 4), ways in which grandparents parent grandchildren (Dolbin-MacNab, 2006), and much research focusing on stress among custodial

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31 grandparents raising grandchildren in skipped ge neration family (Kelly, Whitley, Sipe & Yorker, 2000; Landry-Meyer, Gerard & Guzell, 2005; Mills, Gomez-Smith & De Leon, 2005; Ross & Aday, 2006; Sands & Goldberg-Glen, 2000). Res earch has demonstrated that full-time responsibility for caring for gr andchildren has negative impacts on grandparents physical and psychological health. The stressors include legal and financial i ssues, role conflicts, health problems, social isolation and concerns about gr andchildrens behavior and performance (Kelly, Whitley, Sipe & Yorker, 2000; Sands & Goldbe rg-Glen, 2000). Sands & Goldberg-Glen (2000) found that raising grandchildren with psychological or physical pr oblems was more stressful for grandparents. Studies on parenting grandparents demonstrated that social support and family cohesion could buffer the stress of grandparent s (Kelly, Whitley, Sipe & Yorker, 2000; LandryMeyer, Gerard & Guzell, 2005; Mills, Gomez-Smith & De Leon, 2005; Ross & Aday, 2006; Sands & Goldberg-Glen, 2000). Theoretical Framework Stress and coping theory is often used in the study of Am erican grandparents well-being (Ross & Aday, 2006; Sands & Goldberg-Glen, 2 000). This study will use ABC-X family stress theory as the main theoretical framework. In addition, I will discuss more theoretical frameworks that are relevant to my research: social support and family system theory. ABC-X Family Stress Theory Fa mily stress theories focus on stress, coping and social support in the context of family. They propose to uncover why some families are able to cope with ease while other families give up when facing similar if not identical family transitions (McKenry & Price, 2000). Hills (1949, 1958)s ABC-X model described the interaction process among stressors (A factor), family resources (B factor) and family perception (C factor), which affects whether or not families experience a crisis (X factor). McCubbin a nd Patterson (1982) expanded Hill (1949)s ABC-X

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32 theory into the Double ABC-X Family Stress Th eory which included precr isis and postcrisis factors to explain the families encompassing adaptation after the crisis was passed and the stressors were piled up (McCubbin & Patterson, 1982). Double A refers to the original stre ssor event and pile up stre ssors (McCubbin & Patterson, 1982). McCubbin and Patterson defined a stressor as a life event that provokes changes in family system such as death, birth of child, purchase of a house, etc. Stressor events not only refer to major life events like disaster or trauma, but al so refer to daily hassles and trifles (McKenry & Price, 2000). Anything that changes some aspect of the family system can be a stressor event (McKenry & Price, 2000). The Double B factor refers to existing re sources and coping resources in response to stressor events. They can reduce the effect of st ressor events and prevent crisis of the family (McCubbin and Patterson, 1982). McCubbin and Patterson (1982) identif ied four parts of family resources: (1) self-reliance and self-esteem, (2) family integration, (3) social support, (4) collective group support (p. 45). The Double C factor refers to the familys perception of the stresso r events and sense of coherence (McKenry & Price, 2000). Some families have a positive attitude toward the adversity and regard it as a chance to grow, while other families have a negative attitude and think it is hopeless. Family perception and coherence is a moderator between stressor and adaptation (McKenry & Price, 2000). The Double X factor is defined adaptation, th e outcome of family coping, stressor events, and the pile-up of demands. There are two result of adaptation: bonadaptation and maladaptation. Bonadaptation is a positive result, characterized as family members life satisfaction, good family relationships, and physical/psychological h ealth. Maladaption is ne gative result of coping,

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33 characterized as family membe rs dissatisfaction of life or wo rsening family relationships (McKenry & Price, 2000). In short, the Double ABC-X theory introduced the concepts of coping and adaptation to the study of family stress. It emphasized the ro le of coping and resour ces, including social support in facilitating family adaptation to an adverse situation (McCubbin, & Patterson, 1982; McKenry & Price, 2000). Stress, Social Support and Buffering Hypothesis At the begin ning of 1980s, numerous studies had shown that positive social support had positive relations to metal health (e. g., Aneshensel & Frerichs, 1982; Billings & Moos, 1981). It is generally regarded that social networks provide regular, positive experiences and stable roles for people that are beneficial to mental health (Cohen &Wills, 1985). Social support is associated with a persons overall well-being, since it gives a person a sense of predictability and stability and recognition of self-worth (p. 311). Moreover, support fr om social network prevents people from the negative impact of adversity su ch as financial or legal problem (Cohen &Wills, 1985). The mechanism through which social support is associated with psyc hological health was unclear until Cohen and Wills (1985) outlined the framework of social support and the buffering hypothesis. Cohen and Wills (1985) proposed support may intervene at two points in the causal chain linkage of potential stressful events a nd illness. First, social support may intervene between stressors and a stress re action by attenuating or preventi ng a stress appraisal response (p312). Support from others may strength peoples perceived ability to c ope with stress events, thus the situation will not be perceived as highly stressful. Second, social support may intervene between the experience process and the outcome by eliminating the stress reaction or by directly influencing physiologi cal processes (p312). Cohen a nd Wills (1985) summarized the

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34 function of social support as esteem support, informational support, social companionship and instrumental support (p. 313). Esteem support helps people to build self-esteem and believe they are accepted, despite the stressfu l situation. This support is also referred as emotional support (p. 313). Information support is people advice to help with coping. Social companionship is having leisure time or other ac tivities together with other people. This function helps people fulfill the need of connects with other people while distancing from a stressful situation for awhile. It is al so called belongingness. Finally, in strument support is providing financial help and service. Circumplex Model of Marital and Family Systems The Circumplex m odel of marital and family sy stems includes three basic concepts that are also common in other models of family sy stems: cohesion, flexibility/adaptability, and communication (Gorall & Olson, 1995; Olson, Russell, & Sprenkle, 1983). Cohesion and adaptability are two dimensions of circumplex mode l (Olson, Sprenkle & Russell, 1979; Olson, Russell, & Sprenkle, 1983). Commun ication is the facilitating dimension of circumplex model (Olson, Russell, & Sprenkle, 1983). Family cohesion is defined as emotional bonding among family members (Olson, Russell, & Sprenkle, 1983). There are four levels of family cohesion: disengaged (very low), separated (low to moderate), connected (m oderated to high) and enmeshed (very high). When the central parts (separated and connect ed) make a balance betw een togetherness and apartness, they are considered to be healthy type of fam ily cohesion. The extreme high and extreme low type of cohesion will cause probl em with time going (Olson, Russell, & Sprenkle, 1979, 1983) There are four levels of family adapta bility, from a low leve l to a high level: rigid, structured, flexible and chaotic; the central part s are regarded as an appropriate balance (Olson, Russell, & Sprenkle, 1983). When combining the two dimensions of cohesion and adaptability

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35 into a complex model, 16 types of marriage and family systems result. Four of the 16 possible types, which fall in both central parts of family cohesion and family adaptability, are said to be balance. If the families fall into extreme levels of both the family cohesion and adaptability dimensions, the families are considered unbalanced. If the families are in extreme levels of one the two dimensions and are in moderate level of the other dimension, the families are regarded as having a midrange system (Gorall & Olson, 1995). In summary, what seems to be important for Chinese grandparents in the U. S. are intercultural stressors, social support and family cohesion. My conceptualization of this process is as following: Figure 3-1. Theoretical conceptualization of intercultural stressors, so cial support, family cohesion and well-being of Chin ese sojourning grandparents. Intercultural Stressors Well-being Social Support Family Cohesion

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36 CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY This research studied the living experience of Chinese sojourning grandparents in the U S. and how intercultural stressors, social support and family cohesi on affected their well-being. The research included both quantitative and qualitati ve inquiry. This chapter explains how the study was conducted, including research design, data collection, instrumentation, and data analysis. Research Design A cross-sectional design was used for the study. B ryman (2004) defines cross-sectional design as the collection of data on more than one case at a single point time in order to detect the association of two or more variables. This paradigm enables researchers to examine the existing differences among groups at one point of time. However, it doesnt track the differences over time (De vaus, 2001). With a cross-sectional design, the relations be tween two or more variables can be examined, but we can not tell the direction of causal influence due to a lack in the features of the experimental design (Bryman, 2004). In this study, Chinese paternal grandparents and maternal grandparents were compared in terms of their intercultural stressors, social support, family cohesion and well-being. Grandfathers and gr andmothers were also compared in terms of the four variables. Data Collection Population and Sample Selection The theoretical population of study is Chinese sojourning grandparents w ith B-2 visas who live together with their adult children in the U.S. to help in the rearing of grandchildren. The accessible population is Chinese sojourning grandpa rents with a B-2 visa living near to the University of Florida in Gainesville. I recr uited 30 grandparents (16 grandmothers vs. 14 grandfathers) living in family housing (Maguire Village, Corry Villag e and Diamond Village)

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37 and Sun Island. The majority of Chinese families residing near the University of Florida are reported to live in these four apartment complexe s. There were 25 of them (13 grandmothers vs. 12 grandfathers) participating in in-depth interviews. A convenience sample was located through churches, housing organizations as well as word of mouth in the Gainesville, Florida area. To recruit the pa rticipants, advertisements on the study were put in the common rooms or laundry r ooms of the four villages. Due to the small target population, snowball sampling was used. S nowball sampling is a non-probability sampling method that involves contacting a small number of people who are eligible for the research and using them to contact other el igible people (Bryman, 2004). Since the Chinese grandparents were not widely dispersed and they might know othe r Chinese grandparents in the same village, snowball sampling was an efficient way to locate potential study participants. The researcher also received several referrals from acquain tances in the Chinese community at UF. Procedure Prior to beginning data collection, the grandpa rents read and signed an infor med consent form approved by the Institutional Review Board (I RB) at the University of Florida. In the quantitative study portion, the resear cher read the questi onnaire to the particip ants as most of them had eyesight problems. If the both the gr andfather and grandmothe r lived together with their adult children, both of them were asked to answer the questionnaire in a location of their choosing. In-depth interviews were conducted acco rding to their willingness to participate and gender balance. The instruments were written in Chinese and interviews were carried out in Chinese. In-depth interviews were recorded and transcribed into both Chinese and later translated into English for data analysis.

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38 Instrumentation The self-completed questionna ire included five sections: in tercultural stressors, social support ind ex, family adaptability and cohesion evaluation scales (FACES II), well-being instrument, and demographic questions (see Ap pendix A). The instrument for the in-depth interviews was composed of open-ended quest ions (see Appendix B). The instruments were piloted with three Chinese grandpa rents who live in family housing at the University of Florida. These grandparents were asked for the feedback regarding the questions in the questionnaire and in-depth interview as well as the data collection process. The instruments were revised according to pilot participants feedback. It took 10-25 minutes to finish self-completed questionnaire. Intercultural stressors An instrum ent for Intercultural stressors was developed to measure the intercultural stressors Chinese grandparents living temporarily in the U.S. According to the literature review, the main intercultural stressors fo r the older immigrants in the U. S. were found to be: deprivation of a social network, language barriers, lack of transportation, loss of power in the household, lack of leisure activities, and financia l dependency (Moon, 1996; Mui, 1998; Treas & Mazumdar, 2002; Vo-Thanh-Xuan & Liamputtong, 2003) An informal discussion with Chinese grandparents temporarily residing in the U.S. identified additional intercultu ral stressors as feel uncertain using public transportation and feel inconvenienced by where grocery stores are located. The draft instrument included indicato rs from research findings and pilot tested discussions, was pre-tested with six Chines e grandparents. Collins (2003) cognitive methods were used during the pre-test. For example, gr andparents were asked th eir cognitive processes when answering the questions in order to make su re they thought in a consistent way and in a way I intended (Collins, 2003). The draft instru ment was revised according to their reported cognitive processes and their an swers to debriefing questions. Th e 11 items were measured by a

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39 five-point score (1=Never, 2= rarely, 3=occasi onally, 4= frequently, 5=very frequently). The negative items were reversely coded with the most positive one getting a score of 5 and the most negative getting a score of 1. Cronb achs alpha score of intercultural stressor instrument for this study was .789. Social support index Social support was measured by the Social Support Index (SSI) (M cCubbin, Patterson & Glynn, 1987). The 17-item instrument measured soci al support as the degree to which family members find emotional, esteem and networ k support from community (McCubbin, Thomposon & McCubbin, 1996). A 5-point Likert scale ranged from strongly disagree to strongly agree (1=Strongly Disagree, 2= Disagree, 3= Not Sure 4= Agree, 5= Strongl y Agree). The negative items (7, 9, 10, 13, 14, and 17) were reversely coded to ensure all the items are scored in the same positive direction. The Cronbachs alpha of the SSI measure was found to be 0.82 (McCubbin, Thomposon & McCubbin, 1996). The SSI ha s been used in a previous study of Chinese mainland mothers social support with a reported Cronbachs al pha of .71 (Xu, Farver, Zhang, Zeng, Yu & Cai, 2005). Cronbachs alpha score for this study was found to be .735. Family adaptability and cohesion evaluation scales Fa mily cohesion was measured by use of the family adaptability and cohesion evaluation scales (FACES II) (Olson & Portner, 1983). FA CES II consists of a 30-item scale including 16 cohesion items and 14 adaptability items. Since ad aptability is not clos ely related to the study, only the 16 items for family cohe sion were used. There are two ite ms for each of the 8 concepts related to family cohesion: emotional bonding, family boundaries, coalitions, time, space, friends, decision making and interests and recr eation. A 5-point Likert scale ranged from strongly disagree to strongly agree (i.e., 1=Strongly Disagree, 2= Disagree, 3= Neutral, 4= Agree, 5= Strongly Agree); negative items were re verse scored. The instrument had been used to

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40 test 2,498 family members with a Cronbach alph a score of .87 for cohesion. FACES has also been used for the study of Asian American familie s and supported the use with this group (Gorall & Olson, 1995). The Cronbachs alpha for this study for this study was found to be .643. Philadelphia geriatric centre moral scale shouldnt th is be in caps if it is a title of a scale? Well-being was m easured by the Philadelphia ge riatric centre moral scale. The instrument was original designed by Lawton (1975) and was modified by Chen and Silver (2000) in a study of elderly Chinese people. The modified in strument contains 9 items asking how often respondents had the following feelings in the past week: (1) had as much energy as before, (2) felt less useful, (3) had a lot of fun in life, (4) felt depressed, (5) felt unhappy, (6) had nothing to do, (7) were willing to have contac t with others, (8) liked to be alone, (9) became irritated. Chen and Silver (2000) used a 3-score scale ranging from 1 (never), to 2 (sometimes), to 3 (always). Negative items were inversely coded. The study us ed the same items as in Chen and Silver (2000)s modified measure, but with a 5-point scale (1=never, 2=occasionally, 3=sometimes, 4=frequently, 5=very frequently. The alpha reliability coefficien t for the modified scale was .76 (Chen and Silver, 2000). Cronbachs alpha of the 5 point scale for this study was .814. Demographic questions De mographic data included Chinese grandparent s ages, gender, educational level, their adult childrens household income, whether they came by themselves or together with spouses, whether they were paternal grandparents or maternal grandparents, their living place, and grandchildrens gender and age. The first reason for collecting demographic information was to ensure that I had a large enough sample to incl ude both maternal grandparents and paternal grandparents. The second reason for collecting th e demographic data was to find out whether any of these variables were related to or affect Chinese grandparents Intercultural st ressors, social support, family cohesion and well-being.

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41 In-depth interview In-depth interview included 24 open-ending questions asking the reason they cam e to the U.S., their roles, difficulties a nd inconveniences in the U.S., thei r pleasures, relationship with adult children, friends and activities in the commun ity and their general f eelings about being in the U.S. It took 20-45 minutes for each partic ipant to complete in-depth interview. Instrument translation All the abov e instruments were created in English and translated into Chinese by the research. Van de Vijver and Ha mbleton (1996) suggested consider ing the linguisti c and cultural differences among the target populations and th e original population during the process of instrument translation. To improve ecological va lidity in a cross-cultur al study, the questions asked should be culturally free (Van de Vijver & Hambleton, 1996). The instruments were not literally translated into Chinese. Some adaptatio ns were made according to the cultural context. The Chinese translation of the instrument wa s reviewed by a Chinese faculty member and a doctoral student who were both familiar and well-v ersed in concept related to emotional wellbeing both from a practitioner and researcher st andpoint. The translation was further reviewed by two adult children who lived toge ther with Chinese gr andparents and were proficient in both English and Chinese. Data Analysis Pearson r correlation was conducted to assess the relation between and among intercultural stressors, social support, fa m ily cohesion and well-being. The P earson r correlation is a method to exam the relationship of two interval/ratio variables (Bryman, 2004). It assesses whether the amount of variance in one variable is related to the amount of variance in the other variable (Nardi, 2006).

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42 Multiple regression analysis was used to ascertain which independent variables significantly influenced the dependent variable), a nd to what extent all th e independent variables explained dependent variable (Nardi, 2006). In this research project on Chinese sojourning grandparents, the grandparents well-being was th e dependent variable; in tercultural stressors, social support and family cohesi on were independent variables. A Mann-Whitney U test was run to compar e paternal grandparents and maternal grandparents in terms of Intercultural stre ssors, social support and well-being. The MannWhitney U test is a non-parametric test that is used to determine differe nces between groups of paired data when the data are not sufficient ( non-normally distributed) for a parametric test. The in-depth interview was conducted in Chinese, and was recorded, transcribed and translated into English. Qualitativ e data were analyzed via both traditional grounded theory, in which theory emerges inductively from data; and the extended case method, where the theoretical frame was deductively assessed and refined through comparison with the inductive findings generated from in-depth interview data (Hines, Merdinger & Wyatt, 2005). In this study, the themes from the ABCX stress and coping theory were expanded with the inductive findings from in-depth interviews. Also, additi onal themes that could not be easily classified into the unrelated to ABC-X theory emerged from the interviews. Before coding the data, themes related to th e theoretical framework and emergent themes outside the theoretical framework were listed through reading the tr anscripts. Then the transcripts were coded line-by-lin e with a code book and the data were sorted according to the codes.

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43 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS This chapter presents the results of both th e quantitative and quali tative inquiries. The purpose of this study was to find out to what exte nt Intercultural stressor s, social support and fa mily cohesion were related to Chinese grandpar ents well-being in the U.S., as well as uncover other factors that attribute to grandparents well-being. Thirty Chinese grandparents (14 men and 16 women) in 17 households completed the ques tionnaire. There were 12 couples among the 30 participants. Twenty-five of the thirty particip ants (12 men and 13 women) participated in indepth interviews, among which there were 7 couples. The demographic description of participants for the quantitative portion will be presented first, followed by quantitative and qualitative findings. Sample Demographics The dem ographic information collected on particip ants included: age; sex; education level; whether they come from urban China or rural Ch ina; whether they came to the U.S. with their spouses or by themselves; whether they are pate rnal or maternal grandparents; how many times they have been in the U.S. (including this time ); the number of grandchildren they have; age and sex of grandchildren; adult childrens family income; and the apartment complex where they currently reside. The summary of the samples de mographic characteristics is as follows as well as in the corresponding Figures: Eleven grandparents (37%) were between the ag es of 50 and 59; seventeen were in the 6069 (56%) age category; and two (7%) were 70 years old (Figure 4-1). Fourteen men (47%) and sixteen women (53 %) participated in the study (Figure 4-2). Twenty-one participants (70%) were maternal grandparents and nine participants (30%) were paternal grandparents (Figure 4-3). Twenty-seven participants (90% ) came with spouses and thr ee participants (10%) came by themselves.

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44 Twenty-seven participants (90%) came from urban China and three participants (10%) from rural China. Fifteen households had just one grandchild. Two households had two grandchildren. None of them had more than two grandchildren in the household. The mean age of first grandchild was 1.77 year s. All first grandch ildren were under four years old except one grandchild who was 13 year s old. Taking out the outlier, the majority of first grandchildren (n =10, 63%) were under one y ear old (Figure 4-4). Nineteen participants (63%) lived in family housing on campus, four pa rticipants (13%) in the Sun Island apartment complex and seve n (23%) lived in other community-based housing (Figure 4-5). Seven participants (23%) adult childrens households had incomes over $10,000, eight (27%) earned over $20,000, three (10%) ma de over $30,000, twelve (40%) had incomes over $40,000 (Figure 4-6). For eighteen participants (60%), it was the first time to be in the U.S.; for nine participants (30%) it was the second time to be in the U.S. and for three (10%) participants, it was the third time to be in the U.S. (Figure 4-7) Statistical Analysis The inte rcultural stressors scale asked the respondents how often (1=Never, 5= Very Frequently) they had feelings or experiences with 11 given stat ements. The Social Support Index (SSI) asked the respondents the degree to wh ich they agreed or di sagreed (ranging from 1=Strongly Disagree to 5= Str ongly Disagree) with 17 given statements. The Family Cohesion Scale asked the respondents the degree they agreed or disagreed (ra nging from 1=Strongly Disagree to 5= Strongly Disagree ) with 16 given statements. The Philadelphia Geriatric Centre Moral Scale measuring well-being asked respon dents how often (from 1=Never to 5= Very Frequently) they had experienced 9 stated situ ations. All the negative items were reversely coded. The statistical summary of the four variables was as fo llows (Table 4-1).

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45 Hypotheses for Quantitative Inquiry H1A: Intercultural s tressors, social support a nd family cohesion will be related to the wellbeing of Chinese sojourning grandparents. H1O: Intercultural stressors, social support, family cohesion and well-being will not be related to the well-being of Ch inese sojourning grandparents. Correlation analysis using Pearsons r correlation wa s conducted to examine the relationship between inte rcultural stressors, social support, family cohesion, and Chinese grandparents well-being. Family cohesion was significantly related to well-being at the 0.001 level (r= 0.529, p<.001). Also, Intercultural stressors were significantly related to well-being (r= 0.320, p<.050). No significant relati on was found between social support and well-being. Table 4-2 illustrates this analysis. A multivariate linear regression was performed to examine the combination of influences of intercultural stressors, social support and family cohesion to Chinese grandparents well-being. Linear regression tests the pred ictive power of independent variables on the dependent variable. Intercultural stressors, social support and family cohesion were fi rst tested indi vidually on the predictive power to grandparents well-being. The re sults (Table 4-3) show that family cohesion was a significant predictor of well-being (p< 0.001) whereas social support was not a significant predictor. Intercultural stressors, which was si gnificantly related to we ll-being in Pearsons r correlation, was not significan t in the combined regression model. However, the value of .320 indicated there was a relation between intercultural stressors and well-being. The first null hypothesis was therefore partially supported. Next, mu ltiple regression was used to test the total amount of variance explained by the three predic tors. The model summary (Table 4-4) shows that intercultural stressors, social support and family cohesion together explained 34.8% (R2 =.348, p<.010) of the variance in Ch inese grandparents well-being.

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46 H2A: Maternal grandparents will report higher levels family cohesion and wellbeing than paternal grandparent s and well-being. H2O: There will be no difference between maternal a nd paternal grandpare nts in levels of family cohesion or well-being. A Mann-Whitney U test was used to test th e second hypothesis. The Mann-Whitney U test is useful for comparing two groups in terms of m easures on dependent variables. It is used when the sample is small and non-parametric (non-nor mally distributed and skewed), and tests the differences between groups on medians rather th an means. The skewness and kurtosis in Table 4-5 tells us the distribu tion of maternal grandpar ents and paternal grandp arents in terms of the four variables was not normal. The skewness for a normal distribution is ze ro and the kurtosis for a normal distribution should be about 3.0. The result of Mann-Whitney U test (Table 4-6) shows that there was no significant difference between maternal grandparents a nd paternal grandparents on measures of acculturation, social support, family cohesion and well-being. Thus the second null hypothesis was supported. H3A: Grandmothers will report higher levels of intercultural stressors, social support, and well-being than grandfathers. H3O: There are no gender differences between gr andmothers and grandfathers in their reports of intercultural stressors, social support, and well-being. Hypothesis three was also tested using the Mann-Whitney U test. The skewness and kurtosis in table 4-7 shows that the distribution of grandfathers and grandmothers in terms of four variables is not normal. Results show that these grandfathers perceived having significantly hi gher level of social support than grandmothers. However, there were no significant differe nces between the two

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47 groups on intercultural stressors, family cohesi on and well-being (See Table 4-8 below). Thus the third hull hypothesis was partially supported. Qualitative Results In-depth interviews were conducted with 25 grandparents, including 13 grandm others and 12 grandfathers. The Double ABC-X model of fam ily stress and coping served as the framework for coding; and then emerging themes not captured in this framework were assigned other codes. The concepts in Table 4-9 and Table 4-10 were based on participants words and abstracted according to themes from the theoretical framew ork and emergent themes. Line-by-line coding was used for data analysis. Theoretical Based Themes Stressors of Grandparents Stressors are represented by the A factor in the A BC-X family stress model. Grandparents reported a number of stressors, in cluding intercultural stressors in the new country, differences of opinion with their adult children, their concern for their adult children and other stressors. Long trip. Although coming to the U.S. is a glori ous thing for many Chinese people, these Chinese grandparents generally found the trip expensive, tiring and even frightening. One respondent shared his unpleasant ex perience of being refused when he applied for a visa the first time. I spent over 3, 000 Chinese dollars (around 400 U.S. dollars), including the application fee and travel fee to the embassy. It was a big expense for us. As there are just five cities in China with U.S. consulates, the elderly people had to travel to one of them to apply for their visas. Even though some of the respondents got their visas smoothly, their experiences in an unfamiliar Chines e city were not easy. Furthermore, their trip halfway around the world was perhaps their first time outside China sounded especially incredible for their old age; moreover, most of them could not speak English.

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48 One elderly couple still felt frightened when talking about the turbulance during their trip from China to the U.S. The grandfather described, The airplane shook a lot. It flew high and low. We were ve ry nervous at that time and worried a lot. I thought there was no need to have such trouble. It was not worthwhile. It is not absolute safe in the airline between China and the U.S. Air crashe s are not rare in the world. People are destined to death. But there is no need (to be dead in air crash). Language barrier. When asked about the difficulties and inconveniences they experienced in the U.S., all participants indicat ed that the language barrier was the biggest problem. They couldnt go shopping by themselv es, couldnt read the instructions on food packages, or watch TV programs. Neither did they dare to take public tran sportation as they were afraid of getting lost. A grandmother said: It is inconvenient for me to go outside by buses because of the language barriers. I ha ve to stay at home most of th e time. My sphere is just this community. Furthermore, participants fe lt they couldnt communi cate with non-Chinese speakers in the community and their social circle and life experiences were narrowed as a result. My neighbors are very nice. They say hello to me each time we see each other. I want to talk to them, but I cant speak English. Neither do they speak ChineseIt is not like in China, once you open the door, you can talk with people outside. I can just greet people here and cant chat and have fun together. The participants also described their diffi culty in learning about and understanding the U.S. and its culture because of the language barrier. A grandmother said When I visit somewhere, say, the museum, I cant read the exhibit description. I am like an illiterate, just telling things by their appearances and not lear ning them in detail. Her feeling was echoed by another grandfather: I bring my grandson to the museum sometimes. The staff there is very nice. But I dont know what they are talking about. A lady in the museum always gives a lecture to the kids who visit there. We join th e fun but dont understand her. One grandfather expressed his embarrassment when American people started the conversation with him in the vegetable garden and he couldnt continue.

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49 Once a person asked me what kinds of vegeta ble I planted. I can only say pepper and soybean. I cant say any other names of the vegetables I planted and I felt embarrassed. Then I said to him, I Chinese, no English. I wanted to tell him I am Chinese and I cant speak English. And I said sorry, sorry. I didnt want to continue the conversation. Another grandmother described her frustrat ion when she couldnt socialize with her grandsons peers and their parent s who did not speak Chinese. My grandson is bigger now. He needs to play with other children. There are children from different countries on the playground, white, black and other ethnicities. They speak English. I cant talk with them and the parents. I feel bad that I cant let my grandson blend into his peers. Different lifestyle. The majority of participants came from urban China where people lived near to each other due to high population density in urban area s. These grocery stores were within walking distan ce and the participants could go shopping by themselves. However, the participants complained they couldnt go s hopping without getting a ride from their adult children in the U.S. A grandmother who thought she c ouldnt lead her life freely in the U.S. said, It is like you have no leg if you dont drive in the U.S. I cant driv e at my age. Even if I could, I dont know the directions because of language ba rrier. And the participants felt unused to shopping once a week in the U.S.; in China, they went to the market every day and bought fresh food. Moreover, most participants felt the price of vegetables in the U.S. was comparatively high and there was a lack of variety, partic ularly for preparing Chinese dishes. According to Confucian ideology, elders are respected in Chinese society. Community activity centers are popula r in urban areas. The participants expressed they could attend group activities with other elders in the community in China. A grandmother over 60 years of age described a typical daily routine for most retired people in urban China. In the early morning, I attend group exercise in the park. There are people playing erhu singing Beijing opera, playing taiji dancing and doing other activ ities in the park. I dance for around one hour. One the way home, I buy food for three meals a day. Then I go back home, have breakfast, take a rest and then pr epare lunch. After lunch, I take a nap and then

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50 play majong with my friends. After dinner I do some exercise in the community, take a walk or dance. Lacking group activities and en tertainment, most grandparent s claimed their life in the U.S. was somewhat dull. As a grandmother stated, My life in China is more colorful. At my age, it is better to have a colorful and fulfilling life. While I am in the U.S., I just stay at hom e most of time, taking ca re of my grandchild and doing housework. My son and daughter-in-la w are busy with their work. We can only go outside on the weekends. Life is dull. I feel lonely sometimes. During their stay in the U.S., the participants were separated from their former social network. One grandfather said he missed his relatives and friends in China, When I was in China, I could go around and ta lk to my relatives and friends when I was frustrated. I felt much better after talking with them. But right now, I just stay with my own family and have few social networ ks except several Chinese people in the neighborhood. Concern for adult children. Most respondents were concer ned about their childrens busy schedule and current standard of living. Because most of adult ch ildren were students or postdoctoral fellows at UF, their inco me was comparatively low to other U.S. residents as well as immigrants, and their current living standa rd was below grandparents expectations. Before I came here, I believed that their lives should be very good since they are well educated and have PhD degrees. But I find things are different when I get here. As you can tell from their apartment and the furniture, their lives are not easy. Some participants claimed their adult children s living standard was lower than their peers in China and even worse than their own living conditi ons in China. Some participants said that in China, they lived in newer and bigger places; and, one of them owned a new car, while in the U.S. her adult children were driving a used car. It was a common view for the participants that pursuing a Ph.D. degree in the U.S. required tremendous effort. In most participants eyes, their adult childre n led a tough life in the U.S. They were busy with their work, did not ea t well, and were marginalized in U.S. society.

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51 Two grandfathers compared their adult children to migrant workers in China who moved from rural to urban areas hunting for j obs to earn a living. They are like emigrants who seek life in Beiji ng. Their life is not stable and is full of competition and pressure. They have low economic status and do not belong to the American majority. Their adult childrens future has also been a potential concern for the participants. One grandmother was concerned about her son-in-laws fu ture and his decision to either stay in the U.S. or go back to China. Her daughter was curren tly a faculty member in a university in China. As she had no Ph.D. degree, it was not easy for her to decide to give up her job in China and join her husband in the U.S. Whats more, the s on-in-laws post-doctora l position was temporary. However, the whole family felt good about living in the U.S. and American society. It was a dilemma for the adult children to make a decision whether to stay in the U.S. or go back to China. We do worry about their future. No matter where th ey stay, either in the U.S. or China, we only hope that they can stay together and ha ve a stable life. But right now, it is still uncertain for them. It is good if they would lik e to stay here since the social environment and natural environment (no air and water polluti on) in the U.S. are good. It is also good if they want to go back to China. Since they are well educated, they should have no problems getting a job. I only hope they have a clear goa l, work towards to the goal, and be reunited sooner. Differences or conflict with adult children. Most participants admitted they had differences with their adult children over raising the grandchildren because of intergenerational and cultural differences. The upper generation tended to follow Chin ese tradition, while the adult children were influenced by Western ways of childrearing. Five grandparents, whose grandchildren were all less than one year old, reported they ha d different opinions from their adult children on whether to feed the babies water. The grandparen ts felt that newborns needed to be fed with water according to Chinese traditional practices. However, the young parents insisted that babies younger than four months old should be only fe d with breast milk or formula,

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52 not water, following U.S. doctors recommendati ons. The participants expressed their worries that the grandchildren would become dehydrated without drinking water. It is hot and humid here. I feel worried that the baby is just fed with her mothers milk. Milk is milk. Water is water. How can m ilk replace water? I do not understand why we cant feed infants with water in the U.S. while in China we can. Another grandmother described a difference of opinion with her daughter on another issue related to feeding the newborn grandchild: After the baby was born, I want to feed him fo rmula. But my daughter disagrees with me. So does the doctor. They insist the baby s hould suck for milk. But my daughter has no milk at the beginning. The baby was hungr y for three days. I worried a lot. Chinese grandparents were also concerned th eir grandchildren wore too few clothes and ate too much cold food, thus threatening the Chinese value of keeping ba bies or children warm. One grandmother felt continually uncomfortable with her dau ghter giving her granddaughter cold milk, right from the refrigerator. I think milk should be warmed after taking it out of the refrigerator. Children should not drink cold milk, which is not good for their stomach. But my daughter doesnt think so. She says American children always have cold food. She also lets my granddaughter eat ice cream. I feel it is too cold. Meanwhile, participants said th at their children often complained about their spoiling their grandchildren. A grandfather said his adult children didnt like when he cuddled the baby until he fell asleep. They (adult children) told me not to hold the baby too of ten. In fact, I know the baby will be spoiled if I hold him too much. But the baby is so little. Medical care Basically, Chinese sojourning grandpare nts were issued visas for six month stays in the U.S., and some of them extended their visas for anot her half a year before they expired. As they planned only to stay temporaril y in the U.S., only one of the participants had bought health insurance. The rest did not have any coverage while in the U.S. When asked whether they were worried about their insurance, some participants did not worry too much as

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53 they were confident with their h ealth. But others felt concern about this issue. A seventy-year-old grandmother who had diabetes, nephritis, high bl ood pressure and heart disease before she came to the U.S. brought all kinds of medicine from Ch ina and had injection everyday with the help of her spouse. Whenever I feel uncom fortable, I take some medicine. It is expensive to go to a hospital in the U.S. We cant afford it. A grandfather said once he had some symptoms he would fly back to China to be treated. Sometimes I feel worried about health insuranc e. Generally saying, health insurance is the biggest concern for us visiting parents. I heard that once you went to hospital, the fee charged were very high without health insura nce. We havent been sick till now. But I have concern about this. East or West, home is besthomesickness. Most participants regarded the U.S. as an environment that was good for the development for young people. However, they thought it was not a good place for older people and they were l ooking forward to returning to China whether they enjoyed their stay in the U.S. or not. There is an old Chinese saying, fallen leaves go to the root. My root is in China. There is no advantage for an old people to be in foreign country. Who doesnt say ones hometown is the best place? The U.S. is good, but our roots are not here, how can we blossom here? The U.S. is the battlefield for young people where they can struggle for a good life. We elderly people have no hope here. Resources The B f actor in ABC-X family stress theory re fers to resources. In this study resources included support from family members, support from Chinese friends in the community, and church and community activities.

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54 Filial piety of adult children. As shown in the quantitative portion of the study, family cohesion was related to participants intercultu ral stressors and was significantly related to grandparents well-being. The participants felt satisfied with the filial pi ety their adult children showed them and they all reported that they lived in harmony with th eir adult children. Most participants sensed their adult childrens filial piety by the material and emotional support they provided grandparents. My daughter always buys food that is rare in China for us. I tell her the food is expensive. She says but you didnt eat it before. You should try. My daughter buys food I like to eat. I like cookies with filling. My daughter bought me those kind of cookies. My wife likes peaches My daughter bought big peaches for her. They (adult children) buy me many good quality clothing. Al so they buy many gifts for me to take back to China, such as fish o il, a watch and ginseng. The prices are beyond my imagination. They treat me well. They do not earn much mo ney. But they invited us to travel to New York, Washington D.C. and Niagara Falls with a travel agency. The participants also described their adult childrens showing filial piety with emotional support. We feel very happy as they (adult children) ar e very nice to us. My daughter-in-law is industrious. She is enthusiastic and considerat e. She always shows a kind concern for our comfort. A grandmother felt very pleased with her sonin-law who always spent time talking with her husband, I get along well with my adult ch ildren. There is no need to sa y my daughter since I bring her up and know her temper and character very well. My son-in-law has good temper

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55 and is nice to elder people. He is easy-going. Whenever he is available, he talks with my husband. They chat on everything, politics, life, sports, everything, even alligators. We are very happy and have nothing to be unsatisfied about. Pleasure from grandchildren. When asked What pleasures do you have in the U.S.? Most participants referred to their pleasure in having grandchildren. A grandmother stated that, My pleasure is I have a grandchild, who brings me much happiness. The baby is not naughty at all. He seldom cries and he is he althy. I am happy to be together with him. My grandson just begins to sit by himself. He smiles when I play with him. It is the happiest thing in one day. A grandfather stated that, We enjoy the pleasure of three generations be ing together. My grandson is just one-yearold, but he knows how to please us. When I say I am tired, he will massage my back with his little hand. When his grandma says she is tired, he will massage hers. My grandson is very lovely. A ll of us like him very much. We feel happy even though we are busy in taking care of him. Participants also indicated being pleased with their grandchildrens intellectual achievements. A grandmother felt pleased that his two year old grandson knew the names of many auto brands. The participants whose grandch ildren were school aged also reported feeling very proud of their grandchildre ns intelligence an d their achievements in study. An elderly couple demonstrated pride when talking about their 13 year old gra ndson who got five trophy cups in a math competition. The maternal grandfather expressed, I feel happy when I tell my other family members in China (such as my son) that my grandson is doing very well with his study.

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56 In summary, the quantitative and qualitative result s show Chinese sojourning grandparents receive support and pleasure from their adu lt children. And feeling pleased with and by grandchildren related to their well-being. Chinese friends in the community. Because most participants lived in apartments near campus, where other international students were housed, they had many chances to encounter other Chinese elders in the community. For many participants, Chinese friends were a part of their daily life. They greeted each other, dropped in to visit each other, chatted in common public community areas, went fishing or planted vegeta bles together. The quantitative results showed that social support was not signifi cantly related to the participan ts well-being. However, I heard diverse comments on the importance of Chines e friends in the community. Some of them regarded their Chinese friends in their residential community as very important to their life in the U.S., while others thought they were just part of daily rou tine or unimportant. A grandmother said Chinese friends in th e community were highly important to her because she could talk with them in their ow n language. We can unders tand each other and talk about family and anything we d like to talk about and not worry about a language barrier. She continued to describe friends concern for each other: We will ask each other if we havent met for several days. Like just now, I asked the elde rly lady why she hasnt been to the pavilion (an outdoor community meeting place) these days. She said she caught a cold. When the grandparents chatted with each ot her, their topics were mainly on their experiences in the U.S., their feelings, the adul t childrens work and how to take care of the grandchildren. The conversation had a therapeutic value for them as they always shared their feelings in the U.S. and found they had similar experiences. A grandfather describes how impor tant Chinese friends in the community were to his life,

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57 It is fun to be with them (Chinese friends) a nd they are big comfort to me. I felt lonely and bored when I first came here since I could not communicate with othe rs. I felt better once I could chat with Chinese people in the commun ity. We have a sense of attachment to each other since we are all Chinese people. We say hello to each other and encourage each other. We tell each other that it doesnt matter that we are not used to life in the U.S. Things will get better after we stay here for some time. It is very good to see them. The participants also regarded their adult ch ildrens close friends as their own friends. A grandfather referred to instrumental support from his daughters fr iends. They give help as we need. For instance, when my daughter gave birth in the hospital, her classmates, who I am also familiar with, gave us a ride to the hospital and brought us back. The grandparents who thought Chinese friends in the community were routine or not important explained that the frie nds here were just temporary. They had fun when they chatted with each other, but there was a lack of intimate communicati on. Furthermore, once they got familiar with each other, they would be separa ted because of their visa limitations. As one grandmother said, To tell you truth, these friends are not important to me. We get along well with each other. But we just live here temporarily. We will go back to China sooner or later. We will not see each other after we go back. They are just acquaintances and are not friends for long. More men regarded friends in the community as important than women (7 men out of 12 vs. 2 women out of 13). Women were more likel y to regard family members as far more important than friends. Men were found to spen d more leisure time with friends in chatting, fishing and gardening. Community and church activities. The participants attende d community or church activities infrequently. Some participants attended community activities on special occasions, such as on Mothers Day, Fathers Day, Indepe ndence Day, Easter; etc. and some of them attended church activities occasionally. Genera lly speaking, the participants looked at these events as entertaining and interesting, but not as important. As a grandmother said, Those

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58 activities enrich my life. Life is more fun if we join the activities since we always stay at home They make life interesting, but it is hard to say they are important. Most participants had been invited to a ttend church activities and felt good about the church environment. However, as most of them did no have religious beliefs, they did not go to church regularly. For most of them, church activiti es were not an important part of their life. Perspective to stressors and resources Perspective is the C factor in the ABC-X fa m ily stress theory. The participants were found to cope with the stressors a ssociated with their current so journing status through their own perspectives. Staying in the U.S. is just temporary. Most participants thought they just would stay in the U.S. for a short period of time, a thought process which was helpful in coping with intercultural stressors. A grandfat her stated, It is normal that th ere are some differences between China and the U.S., especially the culture and food. But these di fferences are ok for me since I just stay here for a short time. A couple of partic ipants expressed that th eir clear goal staying in the U.S. was to give help, not [be here] for f un. If they have inte rcultural stressors, the grandparents take things as they co me. As a grandmother explained, After my daughter accomplishes her master degree, I will ha ve completed my task (of taking care of grandchildren) and will go back to China Some Chinese elder people say it is not fun to stay in the U.S. But I think I come not for fun, but for taking care of my grandchild. Moreover, the participants felt good about sacr ifices they made for family members. A grandmother said, It is a happy thing for us ol der people to do what we can to reduce their (adult childrens) burden. Perspective on differences with adult children. All participants reported they lived in harmony with their adult child ren although they had differe nt opinions about raising

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59 grandchildren. Most participants said they followed their adult ch ildrens suggestions when there were differences, even though at time s they insisted their own opinions were right in their hearts. I think I need to respect them since they (adult children) are the parents of my granddaughter. They have more authority than me and should decide for the baby. They will live in the U.S. for a long time. I will leave after staying here for half a year. The participants thought their adult childrens opinions, whether from books or from doctors, were more scientific. Moreover, their goal was the same as their adult childrens, which was to ensure the health and well-being of the grandchildren. Additiona lly, many participants said they would not interfere with adult child rens business since they did not necessarily understand some things about their lives. For ex ample, one grandmother said, We manage our own lives respectively. Hope for their adult childrens future. Most participants had hope for their adult childrens future even th ough they felt their current life was diffi cult. Most participants felt their adult children should have a bright future as a result of their high educa tion. A grandfather told me, If they (adult children) can sustain such a ha rd life, their life in the future will be better. Well-being When asked In general, what are your f eelings about being in the U.S? only one grandmother and two grandfathers said they we re unhappy being in the U.S.; the others (N=22) expressed that their feelings a bout being in the U.S. were Ok, good or the same as in China. Most participants went on to give one explanation after generalizing their feelings, which included family cohesion (n=3), pleasure from grandchildren (n=2), adult childrens good life (n=1), social or environmental advantages of the U.S. society (n=2), positive perspective on their stay in the U.S. (n-=3), f eeling good about self-sacrifice (n=2), limited length of stay in the U.S. (n=1), support from spouse (n=2), or a more relaxed life in the U.S. (n=1). Most of the factors had been discussed previ ously and would be discussed in the emergent themes portion as

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60 the factors related to the part icipants well-being, with a few exceptions, feeling good about self-sacrifice, more relaxed life in th e U.S. and support from spouse. There was one participant who referred to the la nguage barrier as the biggest pr oblem for his life in the U.S. after expressed his generally feeling. Generally speaking, Chin ese grandparents felt positive about being in the U.S. and this may be tied to their well-being. Emergent Themesshould this be a centered he ading or is this w here editorial wants it? Reasons for coming to the U.S. The m ajority of participants reflected that their primary reason for coming to the U.S. was to provide help in raising gra ndchildren so that adult children could spend more time on their work and studies. One grandfather stated, I cam e to take care of my granddaughter. They (adult children) are busy with their studies. Several participants indicated that they came to take care of the new mothers, after the birth of their babies, thereby following the tr aditional Chinese practi ce of doing the month, during which the mother rests postpartum and is cared for by an elder for a full month. A grandfather said, My daughter just had a baby. According to Chin ese traditional culture, we need to help her by doing the month. Another reason grandparents came to the U.S. was that they misse d their adult children. Some of them expressed they hadnt been together for several years and some hadnt even met their daughters-in-law or sons-in-law before they came to visit. My son just got married and I have never seen my daughter-in-law, thus I want to see them and learn about their family, lives and study... I just want to see them a nd their lives so that I am no longer worried about them. Others mentioned that their additional reason for visiting was the opportu nity to look at the U.S. and find out more about what the country is like. People all say Amer ica is great. I want to take this chance to have a look at this country.

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61 Grandparents responsibility Generally speaking, Chinese grandparents had a strong sense of obligation to help in the care of grandchildren. T he majority of grandparents in the sample regarded themselves as their grandchildrens main caregivers. Only three of the twenty-five grandpa rents felt that adult children should take most of the re sponsibility for their own children. Traditionally, Chinese grandparents help raise their grandchildren in the extended family setting. Although extend family is decreasing in China, Chines e grandparents still hold the traditional obligation to be involved in caring for grandchildren. As a grandfather said, My grandparents also raised us. The tradition (of raisi ng grandchildren) is passed from generation to generation. Another dimension of grandparent obligation was a strong obligation help adult children manage their responsibility for children and studies/work, and this was shared by all participants. A seventy-year-old grandmother showed pity and sympathy toward her adult children when she described the adult childrens busy schedule. My daughter and son-in-law leave home very early in the morning and are back at home late. They are much busier than people in Ch ina. They do not eat we ll, drink well or sleep well. And the baby is so young. They have low income. If they send their baby to day care or hire a baby sitter, their in come will be even less. We are here relieving their burden. A grandfather explained his daughter was busy with school as she was soon going to graduate. He and his wife were taking good care of the grandson so that the mother could better concentrate on her studies. During the intervie ws with participants, I heard the following statement again and again: We want to do more th ings so that the adult children can spend more time on work and study. Chinese people share a value of strong commitment to extended families. In the grandparents eyes, it was a difficult time for the adult children to be pursuing a degree and

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62 raising children at the same time. It was also difficult to raise children while holding a post doctoral position, as this was cons idered low paying and unstable. They felt a strong obligation, as one grandmother expressed, to help the adu lt children to get through their difficulties. Grandparents role As the quantita tive results showed, the majority of grandchildren we re under three years old. While parents were away, grandparents pr ovided most of the hands-on care for their young grandchildren: preparing food, feeding, changi ng diaper and taking th em out to play. The participants did the major ity of household chores as well They described that they cooked different kinds of Chinese food for th e adult children to im prove their diet. One grandfather found his adult child ren gained weight after he and his spouse came here, They (adult children) dont know how to cook. Neither do they have time to cook. They ate a lot of fast food before we came here. No w they eat Chinese food, which is tastier and healthier. They have regular meals in a day. We cook dishes and make Jiaozi, noodle, rice, Baozi (steam stuffed bun) and other baking stuff. They especially like the Shangdong biscuit. They eat more than before. The respondents contributed to educating the grandchildren who were toddlers or older. A grandmother who was once a singer in the army described, I emphasize communication with my grandaught er and the explosion of her language ability. I teach her dances and childrens songs. I try my best to encourage her intellectual development. I teach her Chinese and take every opportunity to educate her. For example, I encourage her to read the license place numbers on the back of cars so that she can learn numbers and letters. In order to enhance the grandchildrens Chin ese language ability, another grandfather read the Chinese novels to his grandchild including, Water Margin, Journal to the West and Laotze, Analects of Confucius. His grandson had finished prim ary school in China before moving to the U.S. with his parents. The grandfather, a professo r in China, was also involved in monitoring his grandchilds homework progress. He emphasized the grandchilds psychological and physical

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63 development. He taught the grandchild chess, pl ayed basketball with his grandchild and always coached him on how to adjust his feelings, an impor tant part of Chinese childrens socialization. You know the concept of health in mode rn psychology includes three dimensions: physical, emotional and social. My grandson is intelligent, but he has a bad temper sometimes. I always tell him it is important to know how to control his feelings and how to face failure. I also tell him he needs to incr ease physical exercise and communication with other people. In some families, grandparents claimed that they served as mediators between adult children and grandchildren. A grandmother, who t hought her adult ch ildren were too strict on the grandchildren, tried to change th e adult childrens pare nting style by playing parent educational programs brought from China. After watching thos e programs, the adult children apologized to the grandchildren. The grandmother explained, My adult children have too high expectations for their son. They are too anxious. I suggest them to be patient. My son-in-law has changed his parenting a little bit after we came here. My grandson is at a rebellious age. He is qui ck to rebel from his parents if they are too harsh on him. She also encouraged her adu lt children to spend more time with the grandchildren. She believed, Children need affection. A family full of love is in childrens favor. Other factors related to well-being The ABC-X f amily stress theory was helpful in explaining some f actors related to the participants well-being. However, the following factors did not fit into any construct in the model, but were also from participants pe rspective important to their well-being. Adult childrens good life. As a grandfather said, We don t need their (a dult childrens) material support. I only need them to have a goo d life. It will be a great comfort to us. We will have long life. For Chinese elders, adult ch ildrens good life meant a good financial situation, steady job, and stable family.

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64 As mentioned in the previous section on stress ors, adult childrens financial strain was a stressor. Correspondingly, the participants felt satisfied once their adu lt childrens financial situation got better. For example, a couple whose adult child recent ly got a job reported that they felt reassured, happy or satisfied. A gra ndfather whose son-in-law started working for several months said, We have no financial stress. If a family does not experience financial stress, the atmosphere at home is more peaceful And we appear to have a closer bind to each other. Another grandmother whose son has just achieved his Ph.D degree and got a job offer explained, I feel happy. My three sons ar e all married and have started their careers. You know at our age, I feel at ease that I don t need worry about their losing th eir jobs. Each of them has a good job and leads a comfortable life. I ha ve brought them up with no regrets. The daughters education or car eer in the U.S. was also a symbol of good life for the maternal grandparents. A maternal grandfather to ld me, I feel happy that my daughter is now studying for a masters degree in the U.S. A grandmother concluded, We elder people feel happy if the family lives in harmony, all people are in good health, and the adult children do well or things go smooth ly with their work. In these Chinese grandparents eyes, if the adult children have good jobs, they can lead a good life, which makes their pa rents feel reassured. The air is fresh and the sky is blue in the U.S. Participants frequently expressed positive comments about the natural and social e nvironment in the U.S., regardless of whether they liked other aspects of their life there or not. The sky here is high and blue. The sky in my hometown is always overcast. Moreover, there are many trees and a lot of grass in the U.S. It is green everywhere. People breathe fresh air in the U.S. People a nd wild animals live in harmony. You can see squirrels here and there. Wild birds, alligato r and tortoise in the river are well protected.

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65 Many participants indicated they have bett er health in the U.S. due to the better environment. I always felt uncomfortable with my throat when I was in China. I feel better while in the U.S. and I havent coughed since I came here The environment here is good and the local climate is suitable for living, es pecially for elderly people. American people are polite and civilized. The participants felt positive about Americans and always said, The U.S. people are nice and polite. They say hello to me no matter whether they know me or not. They also felt Am erican people were civilized. They seldom do rude things such as skipping on a line. There are no counterfeit things in the U.S. (Largely refers to food and ingredients. The ingredients in the food label in the U.S. tell consumers the true composition of the food). There are fewer wo rries about thieves in the U.S. A grandfather made comment on the traffic in the U.S., Though there are much more cars in the U.S., ther e are fewer traffic jams in the U.S. I see many stop signs in intersections. I feel funny at the beginning since all cars make a stop there whether there is another car or not. I feel drivers in the U.S. more often observe the rules. Another grandmother also compared drivers in China with those in the U.S. and said, Drivers in the U.S. hoot the horns much less than those in China. And they always stop the car to wait for passengers to cross the street. Drivers in China seldom do this. The participants had been educated in China at a young age and taught that capitalist society was materialistic and people had uncarin g, unemotional relationships with each other. However, they found it was untrue after they came to the U.S. I find many American families have multiple children and they value family life. It is beyond my imagination. American people lead a free and comfortable life. They have no political pressure and they know how to enjoy life.

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66 When I was in China, I always worried about my adult children as I often heart violence, bombing happening in the U.S. from media. Afte r I come here, I find th ey live in harmony and have sense of secure. The U. S. is a heaven for grandchildren. The participants mentioned that the facilities for babies were good in the U.S. Diapers, baby food, strollers and other baby supplies made it convenient to take care of grandchildren. I think if the financial situation is good, it is better to raise child in the U.S. than in China. More types of baby food are av ailable here than in China. There is formula, baby cereal and different kinds of baby food including meat noodles and vegetable. They are ready to eat and are nutritious. A grandfather said his friends in China felt it was very tiring to take of grandchildren. He didnt feel that way as his gra ndson used diapers, which saved a lot of work. If in China, we need to wash cloth diapers. Also there are many toys for babies and children in the U.S. When my grandson cries, I give him toys, which makes it easy to make him calm down. Another grandmother pointed out the sidewalk s in the U.S. had no steps, which made it easy for her to push strollers. It is fun to see the growing of vegetable. For some participants, vegetable gardening was an important part of daily lif e. Those participants had vegetabl e fields in the student gardens on campus. According t participants there were many advantages to planting vegetable. First of all, they supplied the family with organic vege tables, which were fresh and healthy and provided big savings. Also they received fr om pleasure growing vegetables, as a grandmother said, I feel happy when I see the vegetables growing well. Mo reover, the garden was a social place for the participants. A grandfather described the friends hip he built with other Chinese elders, who gardened together: The longest time I spend with my friends is in the vegetable garde n. Every morning after doing some work in the garden, we sit together and chat with each other. We talk about

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67 planting vegetable, fishing, news and everything I call it the vegetable garden party. We give each other help such as exchanging vegetable seeds. Planting vegetables was a good exercise for the elders at the same time. A grandfather who had high blood pressure in China said his blood pressure was normal in the U.S., which he attributed to gardening, Planti ng vegetables is a physical exerci se. We elderly people are in great need of exercise. Several participants who planted vegetables toge ther said they also we nt fishing together. It is pretty fun to go fishing. My two friends always invite me to go fishing with them on weekends. It is important to my life. I feel very disappointed if I do not go fishing for one weekend [Laugh]. Fishing had a similar function to planting vege table. The difference was the participants could work on a vegetable garden daily, but they couldnt go fishi ng every day as they relied on transportation from their adult children to go fish ing whereas the vegetable garden was isolated on campus. Staying occupied. In addition to leisure activities, the participants kept busy most of time with child care and household chores. A grandfathe r said, I feel enriched everyday. We are busy the whole day because of the little one (grandchild) [laugh]. Every day ends before we realize it. The participants busy schedule appeared to co ntribute to their well -being. In contrast, participants also described that they felt so mewhat bored and had nothing to do when the grandchildren fell asleep or we nt out with adult children. A gr andfather who was not directly involved in raising his grandchild said, I feel somewhat depre ssed. I dont have such feelings when I am growing vegetables or talking with other people. But I feel lonely when I stay by myself. Exercise. Several participants talked about taki ng a walk at their leisure time. One grandmother jogged every day and re garded it as a coping skill,

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68 I like doing exercise. I go dancing every day in China. Because there is no place for me to dance in the U.S., I started jogging. It is good for both physical and mental health. I feel somewhat bored taking care of my grandchild for a whole day. After I go jogging at night, I am all in a sweat. It is a re lease for me. And it is very re laxing to take a shower after exercise. The grandmother never stopped jogging, even when it was raining and she always encouraged other elderly Chinese people in the co mmunity to start jogging as a way to ease the adjustment to life in the U.S. Length of time in the U.S. The participants were experienci ng an intercultural adjustment while they stayed in the U.S. A couple of them reported that they felt much better and got used to life in the U.S. after staying for a period of tim e. A grandfather who had been in the U.S. twice said, At the beginning when I came here, I felt stra nge and nervous. With two living experiences in the U.S., I feel very at home. I am more fa miliar with the environment this time and feel freer. Some participants gradually changed their perspe ctives on different livi ng style in the U.S. Several participants told me at the beginning they felt it was not convenient to go shopping, as the grocery stores were not within walking distance; but now they felt shopping by cars was convenient. They also felt that not all food in the U.S. was expens ive. A grandfather said tropical fruit, milk and flour were even cheaper than in China. Moreover, the longer they stayed the less inclined they felt transform the prices in U.S. do llars to Chinese dollars, since their adult children earned U.S. money. One grandfather stated, The price in the U.S. is lower than in China when compared with local income. Summary of the Qualitative Findings The prim ary reason the study participants came to the U.S. was to help in caring for grandchildren. They felt a strong obli gation to give help as they regarded it was a way to relieve their adult childrens burden so they could concentrate on their work and studies. Most

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69 participants were the main care takers of grandchildren and th ey also helped with household chores. During their stay in the U.S., the participants experienced intercultural stressors, concern for their adult children, medical i ssues and other stressors. Fam ily cohesion, social support from friends and a positive perspective, the concepts from ABC-X family stress theory, helped explain the factors related to well-being of the partic ipants. Family cohesion, expressed by filial piety from adult children and pleasure from grandc hildren, was especially important to these participants. Other factors, such as adult childrens financial improvement, advances of American society, vegetable gardening, leisur e activities and length of stay in the U.S. all appeared to be associated to the participants well-being. Generally speaking, the participants had mixed feelings about staying in the U. S., but their well-being was positive. Further explanations of these research findings are in the next chapter.

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70 11 17 2 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 Over 50 Over 60 Over 70Number of Grandparents Figure 4-1. Distribution of participants by age group

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71 n=14 47% n=16 53% Grandfather Grandmother Figure 4-2. Distribution of participants by gender.

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72 n=21 70% n=9 30% Paternal Maternal Figure 4-3. Proportion of paternal and maternal grandparents

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73 10 2 4 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 Age 0-1 Age 1-2 Age 2-3Number of First Grandchildren Figure 4-4. Distribution of first gr andchilds age excluding outlier

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74 19 4 70 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20Family Housing Sun Island OthersNumber of Grandparents in Each Category Figure 4-5. Distribution of partic ipants current living place

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75 7 8 3 120 2 4 6 8 10 12 14Over 10,000 Over 20, 000 Over 30, 000 Over 40, 000Number of Participants in Each Category Figure 4-6. Distribution of adu lt childrens household income

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76 18 9 30 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20First time Second time Third timeNumber of Participants in Each Category Figure 4-7. Distribution of gra ndparents time in the U.S.

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77 Table 4-1. Intercultural stress ors, social support, family cohesion and well-being summary statistics. Variable Mean SD Range N Intercultural stressors 35 6.0 31 30 Social support 65 4.6 20 30 Family cohesion 61 3.6 16 30 Well-being 35 3.5 13 30 Table 4-2. Correlation and significan ce test results between well-being and intercultural stressors, social support, and family cohesion. Grandparents We ll-being p-value Intercultural stressors 0.320 0.042* Social support 0.245 0.096 Family cohesion 0.529 0.001*** Note. *** p .001 p 0.05 Table 4-3. Predictive power of intercultural stressors, social support and family cohesion on the variance in grandparents well-being Independent Variable R2 B SE B p-Value Intercultural stressors .103 .225 .126 .320 .084 Social support .060 .351 .262 .245 .192 Family cohesion .280 .903 .274 .529 .003** ** p .01 Table 4-4. Multivariable linear regression model summary for independent and dependent variables Model R R2 Adjusted R2 F Sig 1 .590 .348 .273 4.635 .010** Note: a. Predictors: In tercultural stressors, social Support and family cohesion b. Dependent variable: well-being c. ** p .01

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78 Table 4-5. Skewness and kurtosis of maternal gra ndparents and paternal gr andparents in terms of intercultural stressors, social s upport, family cohesion and well-being IC SS FC W Maternal .212 -.097 .868 -. 134 Skewness Paternal .261 -.092 -1.975 -.703 Maternal .720 -.453 .671 -.073 Kurtosis Paternal -.451 -.1.383 4.658 2.018 Table 4-6. Mann-Whitney U test: maternal grandparents and paternal grandparents on the ranking of intercultural stre ssors, social support, fam ily cohesion and well-being X n U Sig Maternal 16.38 21 76 .400 Intercultural Stressors Pa ternal 13.44 9 Maternal 16.26 21 78.5 .468 Social Support Paternal 13.72 9 Maternal 14.10 21 65 .179 Family Cohesion Paternal 18.78 9 Maternal 14.81 21 80 .505 Well-being Paternal 17.11 9 Table 4-7. Skewness and kurtosis of grandfathers and grandmothers in terms of intercultural stressors, social support, fa mily cohesion and well-being IC SS FC W Grandfather -.082 -1.027 1.322 -.564 Skewness Grandmother -.009 .881 -.079 -.155 Grandfather .632 -.928 4.264 .212 Kurtosis Grandmother .082 .892 -.843 .797

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79 Table 4-8. Mann-Whitney U test: gr andfathers and grandmothers on the ranking of intercultural stressors, social support, fa mily cohesion and well-being X n U Sig Grandfather 18 14 77 .144 Intercultural stressors Grandmother 13.31 16 Grandfather 19.93 14 50 .010** Social support Grandmother 11.63 16 Grandfather 14.18 14 93.5 .439 Family cohesion Grandmother 16.66 16 Grandfather 17.46 14 84.5 .246 Well-being Grandmother 13.78 16 ** P .01

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80 Table 4-9. Themes and categories based on theory frame Theoretical-Based Themes Categories Stressors Long trip to the U.S. Language barrier Different lifestyle Lonely or dull life Concern for adult children Concern for grandchildren Medical care Different opinion with adult Children Homesick Resources Support from spouse Filial piety from adult children Pleasure from grandchildren Chinese friends in the community Community or church activities Perspective on stressors and social support Perspectives about re lations with adult children Feelings about friends in the community Feelings about community or church activities Feelings about sacrifices for family members Staying in the U.S. is temporary Have clear goal in the U.S.: give help, not for fun Well-being Happy Unhappy Get used to life in the U.S. Not used to life in the U.S. Steady mood Other

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81 Table 4-10. Emerged themes and categories Emerged Themes Categories Reasons for coming to the U.S. Assisting after childbirth Take care of grandchildren Visit adult children and grandchildren Travel, take a look around Perspective on the grandparents responsibility Obligation to reduce adult childrens burden Chinese tradition Social responsibility Make sure the grandc hildren are not sick, cold, fall down, hungry, etc Adult children should take the main responsibility Grandparents role Take care of the baby or child Educate grandchildren Do house chores Supply the family Deal with relationship between adult children and grandchildren Other factors related to wellbeing Adult childrens life Natural environment in the U.S. Social environment in the U.S. Good facilities for baby or child Planting vegetable, fishing Occupied or not occupied Exercise Leisure activities Good health Length of stay in the U.S. Characters

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82 CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION This chapter will summarize and discuss some of the key findings emerging from the data analyses. The first section of the chapter wi ll synthesize the findings based on the research questions and hypotheses guiding th e research. Next, the limitati ons and recommendations for future research will be discussed. The chapte r concludes with a discussion on the important implications of the research for practitioners. Research Questions RQ1.What Are the Stressors of Chinese Co-r esident Grandparents When They Travel from China to the U.S. on a B-2 Visa, Live Together w ith Their Adult Children and Are Involved in Rearing Grandchildren? Both the quantitative and qualitative analys es revealed that Chinese grandparents experienced intercultural stressors when they came to a new country, which includes language barriers, losing their daily life st yle and social networks, lack of transportation, inconvenience of shopping and feelings of isolation. Qualitative anal yses showed that in ad dition to intercultural stressors, Chinese grandparents also had stresso rs from differences of opinion with their adult children, adult childrens financial strains, diffi culties receiving medical care, and feelings of being homesick for their usual life in China. RQ2. To What Extent Do Intercultural Stressors, Social Support and Family Cohesion in Explaining the Well-being of Chinese Co-resident Grandparents in the U.S? Pearson r co rrelation indicated that intercu ltural stressors and family cohesion were statistically related to Chines e grandparents well-being, and th ere was no significant relation between social support and their well-being. The regression analysis showed the three predictors together explained 35% of gra ndparents well-being, with family cohesion alone explaining 28% of grandparents well-being. The findings from the qualitative portion of the study were consistent with the quantitative results.

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83 The majority of participants reported that family relationships were more important than friends in the community, who, while valued, were ultimately considered just temporary acquaintances who would separate in a few months. Many participan ts felt that friendships and community activities enrich ed their lives, but were not central to them. Although they felt less lonely by talking with other Chinese elder pe ople and attending community activities, they perceived family as the most important aspect of their time in the U.S. The qualitative analysis showed that other factors, such as Chinese grandparents perspectives on the U.S., their busy daily schedule, and the length of time they stayed in the U.S also impacted grandparents well-being. RQ3. How Do Maternal Grandparents and Paternal Grandparents Differ in Their Experiences of Intercultural Stressors, Social Support, Family Cohesion and Wellbeing? Statistical analyses revealed no significant di fferences between m aternal grandparents and paternal grandparents in terms of intercultural stressors, social support, family cohesion and well-being. I assumed that maternal grandpare nts would have higher family cohesion than paternal grandparents. The sta tistical results (see table 4-4) showed the opposite: Paternal grandparents had higher, although but not significan tly greater, family cohesion than maternal grandparents. RQ4. How Do Grandmothers and Grandfathers Differ in Their Experiences o f Intercultural Stressors, Social Supports, Family Cohesion and Well-being? There was no statistical evidence that grandm others and grandfathers differed in their experiences of intercultu ral stressors, family cohesion and well-being. However, both statistical and qualitative analyses showed that grandfathe rs had higher levels of social support than grandmothers. It appeared from qualitative result s that grandfathers placed more value on their friendships, and often spent time together with their friends. The grandm others placed less value

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84 on friendships in the community, but spent more tim e with family and regarded family issues as most important. RQ5. What Are Grandparents Perspect ives in Rearing grandchildren? The qualitative data clearly showed that Chinese grandparents followed the Chinese tradition of giving help to adult children in caring for grandch ildr en. The participants believed that they were obligated to pr ovide their assistance, and regarded it as a way to support their adult childrens work and studies. Additionally, according to cultural presumptions, Chinese grandparents had an obligation to educate grandchildren who are over one year old. RQ6. What Are the Living experiences of Chinese grand parents in U.S? The qualitative data showed the participants da ily life in the U.S. was much different than that in China. And they experienced inconveniences and difficulties from intercultural stressors, the pressures of adult children s work, adult childrens financ ial strains and differences of opinion with their adult children. At the same tim e, they enjoyed family happiness, both from bonds with their grandchildren and the closeness and filial piety offered by their adult children. During Chinese grandparents stay in the U.S ., they also experienced the advantages of American society. They felt positive about the qua lity of the natural environment, the social system, and the people in the U.S. They attended church activities, observed American festivals, and grew vegetables in community gardens. All th ese activities they might never or seldom do in China. Also they made friends with other Chin ese elders in the community, people with diverse backgrounds whom they might never encounter in China. These friends and community activities enriched their lives a nd made them feel less lonely. Many participants held the perspective that thei r stay in the U.S. was just temporary. Their goal in the U.S. was very clear, that was taking care of grandchild ren so as to support their adult children. They were trying to make adjustments in different ways. Generally speaking, Chinese

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85 grandparents showed positive well-being, but they all claimed that they couldnt stay in the U.S. for a long time and they were looking forward to returning to China afte r they completed their task. Hypotheses The first null hypothesis that Intercultural stre ssors, social support, fam ily cohesion and well-being will not be related to the well-being of Chinese sojourning grandparents was partly rejected by both quantitative and qualitative analyses. The statistical results showed that intercultural stressors and family cohesion were significantly related to Chinese grandparents well-being. Also, the in-depth interviews showed that Chin ese grandparents experienced difficulties from intercultural stressors; and also happiness from their attachment with grandchildren, and filial piety from their adult children. Statistical results did not show significant relations between soci al support and grandparents well -being. In-depth interviews also revealed that friends in the community were not important for all pa rticipants, and they did not attend regular community activities. The second null hypothesis, that There will be no difference between maternal and paternal grandparents in levels of family cohesion or wellbeing was supported. The results of both the statistical analyses and in-depth interv iews did not show differe nces between maternal and paternal grandparents on measure of family cohesion and well-being. The third null hypothesis, that There are no ge nder differences between grandmothers and grandfathers in their reports of intercultural stressors, social support, and well-being was partially rejected. The results of both the statis tical analyses and in-depth interviews did not reveal differences between maternal grandparent s and paternal grandparents on intercultural stressors and well-being. However, statistical analyses did show significant differences between

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86 the two groups on social support, with grandfathers reporting hi gher social support. In-depth interviews also revealed that grandfathers pl aced more value on friendship than grandmothers. Reflections on Findings in Rela tion to Previous Research As reported in Chapter 4, findings of this study revealed that these sojourning Chinese grandparents were an important source of help w ith child rearing; these results are consistent with previous research on Chinese immigrant families (Da, 2003; Tam & Detzer, 1998). Also, the findings showed that the par ticipants felt a strong obligation to help in raisi ng grandchildren, which has not been discussed in previous res earch. Chinese traditions, the adult childrens busy schedules, and financial strains were the important reasons for their elder parents strong feelings of obligation. Chinese grandparents believed their he lp in raising grandchildren could help adult children concentrate on their work and studies. Stressors, Resources and Well-being This study identified intercultura l stressors, such as language ba rriers, a different life style in the U.S., and lack of access to m edical care, that appeared to be associated with the well-being of older Chinese people sojourning in the U.S.; th is echoes previous studies on elder immigrants (Moon & Pearl, 1990; Mui, 1996). Among the interc ultural stressors, the language barrier was the most serious problem, a finding suppor ted by previous research (Lee, 2007). An important finding of this study is that the concern grandparen ts had about adult childrens current life and future could be a stressor for Chines e grandparents. This study also found that the differences of opinion with a dult children over raisi ng grandchildren were stressors for Chinese grandparents. This recalls a previous study of Ch inese grandparents that pointed out intergenerational diffe rences in parenting practices that might give grandchildren a double message about discipline (Goh, 2006). Power distribution is also an issue coming from intergenerational differences. Previous research on Chinese grandparents ra ising grandchildren in

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87 Australia found that Australian Chinese women had power over their mother-in-law (Da, 2003). This study also found that grandparents gave powe r in the family to their adult children, whether willingly or reluctantly, because grandparents be lieved that adult children should have more authority as parents and th eir child-raising practices mi ght be more scientific. At the same time, both the quantitative and qualita tive results in this research indicated that family cohesion was vital for Chinese grandparents in the U.S.; this is cons istent with previous research on older ethnic immigrants (Mui, 1996; Moon, 1996; Goodman & Sillverstein, 2003; Vo-Thanh-Xuan & Liamputtong, 2003), as well as research on American grandparents raising their grandchildren (Sands & Goldberg-Glen, 2000). Moons ( 1996) study among Korean elder immigrants in the U.S. found intimacy with children was one of the four strongest predictors of the elders well-being. The qualitative part of my study showed that besides filial piety from adult children, pleasure from grandchildren also contributed to the grandparents well-being. The study also indicated the grandp arents positive perspectives on their experiences in the U.S. might mediate the impact of thei r stressors. Previous research hasnt touched on the impact of perspective to Chinese elder peopl e, even though other research and theory on stress and coping has emphasized the importance of this factor. Furthermore, the study found that other factor s also contributed Chinese grandparents well-being: adult childrens fi nancial improvement, the advantages the natural and social environments in the U.S., gardening, exercising, fishing, staying occupied, and the length of their stay in the U.S. This bigger picture of influences on well-being has seldom been addressed in previous research. The study participants reported comparatively po sitive well-being in this study, in contrast to previous research showing that older immigr ants often experience de pression (Gelfand & Yee,

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88 1991). These differences may be ex plained by the temporary stay of the sojourning grandparents in this study, compared to the long term residency of immigrant elders. These grandparents were supported by their adult children and, at the same time, were occupied and got happiness from being together with gr andchildren. Further discussion on th e differences and similarity of sojourning and immigrants of elders will follow. Maternal and Paternal Grandparents Little research has been done com paring mate rnal grandparents and paternal grandparents, though Chinese tradition would lead me to expect that the intergeneratio nal relationship will be better between adult children and maternal parent s than with paternal grandparents. In this sample there were more than twice as many mate rnal grandparents than paternal grandparents-21 maternal grandparents versus 9 paternal grandparents. An adult childs decision about whether to invite maternal or paternal grandparents to the U.S. partly depends on who is available to help; some grandparents in China ar e still working and cannot leave their jobs, or they cant get a visa, and others are no longer living. Some maternal a nd paternal grandparents alternated their visits to the U.S. to give help in caring for gr andchildren. Other research suggests that the disparity in the number of maternal and paternal grandparents may be because adult children generally prefer to choos e maternal grandparents as help ers to avoid potential conflicts between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law that traditionally have been somewhat troublesome for Chinese families (Davis-Friedmann, 1991). Als o, previous research has shown that more elders prefer to co-reside w ith daughters rather than sons (Logan, Bian & Bian, 1998), an unexpected pattern considering Ch inese patrilineal tradition. The larger proportion of maternal grandparents than paternal grandparents in this study is congruent with this tendency. In addition, many participants (n=18) ha ve grandchildren under 1 year old, and young mothers may prefer their own parents to come to do the month for them because they are more

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89 familiar with their daughters food preferences and living habits and consequently, might be better able to anticipate and re spect to their needs after childbearing. The Chinese one child policy implemented at the end of 1970s is another reason for maternal grandparents involvement. Because some young parents are singl e children due to the policy, there is no competition from siblings for elder parents help in caring for grandchildren. Also because of the one child policy, the view that only sons can ca rry the family line is weakening, and daughters are regarded as functionally equivalent to sons for Chinese urban families (Ikels, 1996, p. 138). Grandfathers and Grandmothers There is little previous research compar ing the involvem ent of grandfathers and grandmothers. Even previous research on U.S. grandparents raising grandchildren has mainly focused on grandmothers (Kelley, Whitley, Si pe & Yorker, 2000; Sands & Goldberg-Glen, 2000). This could be explained by that fact that tasks associat ed with childr earing are often assumed to be performed mainly by women. In c ontrast, this study found th at both grandfathers and grandmothers were involved in rearing grandchildren. Only th ree grandmothers came to the U.S. by themselves; the other 27 participants came together with their spouses. Perhaps grandfathers came to the U.S. intending to become involved once they arrived. Another explanation is that the sojourni ng status brings husband and wife closer, a possibility suggested by Man (1995). It is very possible that these grandfathers and grandmothers depended on each other to overcome the difficulties in a new count ry. The grandfathers may have spent more time at home than in China because they had fewer social activities at th eir disposal; and the grandfathers and grandmothers helped each other when providing hands-on care with grandchildren. [do you really mean grandfathers helped gmothers?] One interesting finding of this study was that the grandfathers valued more social support from Chinese friends in the community than gran dmothers. In Chinese patriarchal society, men

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90 are supposed to engage in the public sphere whil e women are associated w ith private sphere of family life (need a citation here), perhaps giving men greater access to social networks, even in the U.S. Although most Chinese grandfathers we re involved in caring grandchildren and doing household chores after they come to the U.S., the grandmothers were still generally regarded as the primary caregivers. My informal observations were that grandmothers spent more time with the family and with grandchildre n. When the grandmothers did gather with other Chinese elders in the community, they usually took their grandc hildren with them. However the grandfathers were more likely to spend time with friends in the community, without grandchildren. For instance, for the elder couples who grew vegetabl es, usually it was the grandfathers who worked in the gardens, and the grandmothers just dropp ed by with the grandch ildren occasionally or worked in the garden on the weekends. Rethinking the Theory Frame and Introducing Other Theories ABC-X Family Stress Theory The ABC-X Fam ily Stress theory was a valu able framework for this research. The concepts of intercultural stress ors, social support, family cohe sion and perspective on stressors proved to be important factors for grandparents well-being, as evidenced in both the quantitative and qualitative portions of this study The statistical analysis showed that intercultural stressors, social support and family cohesion explained 35% of the variance in part icipants well-being. In interviews, these Chinese grandpa rents expressed that they felt lonely or frustrated from the language barrier, a different lifesty le in the U.S., and other interc ultural stressors. Furthermore, the interviews revealed that Chinese grandparents had other stressors, such as adult childrens current financial strain; but they also gained happiness from grandchildrens attachment and adult childrens fili al piety. And, they felt their lives were enriched by socializing with Chinese friends in the community and attending community activities. Chinese gr andparents perspective

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91 (the C factor), such as, regardi ng living in the U.S. as just temporary, also may have mediated the impact of stress among Chinese gr andparents sojourning in the U.S. The main disadvantage of the ABC-X theory is that the theory is too structured and linear. It doesnt explain the interdependence of different levels of social systems--individual, familial, community and cultural/historical (Walker, 1985). Perhaps resilien ce theory is more useful in understanding the adjustment proce ss as well as environmental conditions that impact adjustment (Walsh, 1998). A resilience perspective would enc ourage an exploration of the risk factors and protective factors of Chinese sojourning grandparents, instead of focusing on stressors, resources and perspective, in exploring the adaptation or adjustment of partic ipants (Rutter,1987). Other Theory Frames The human ecological model (Bronfenbrenner, 1979) is recommended for future study because it would incorporate the social context in to stress studies. The central concept of the ecological theory is that a pers on and the environment are related to each other reciprocally. The advantage of using ecological theory is that it looks at the linkages between Chinese grandparents and all levels of environment: co-r esident family, friends in the community, adult childrens work, and the U.S. society. Family systems theory could be also used as a framework for future research. The coresident family is a family system; and gra ndfather and grandmother, mother and father, grandparents and grandchildren, grandparents an d adult children are a ll subsystems. Family systems theory assumes that all parts in the family system interact with each other. The change in one part of the system will cause changes in other parts of the syst em (White & Klein, 2002). Input and output are important concepts of family system theory that would be applied. Grandparents help in raising grandchildren is an input, and the a dult children putting more

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92 energy on work and study is an output for th e family system. Goals, power hierarchies and equilibrium are some other key concepts of family system theory that could be applied to intergenerational immigrant st udies (White & Klein, 2002). Add itionally, clearly there is a common goal of the co-resident unit, to bring up the grandchildren with the help of grandparents and to ensure the adult children have enough en ergy for their careers. For example, future research could explore more about the interactio ns of generations within the extended family system, the generational and gender hierarchie s in the family, and the processes creating equilibrium of the family system. Although those other theories could be useful my conclusion is that a multicultural perspective could be the most suitable theory fr ame for this research topic. The multicultural perspective assumes that the diverse experiences of families and women are constructed by the intersections of gender, race, ethnicity, nationali ty, class, sexual orientation, age, ability, and religion (De Reus, Few & Blume, 2005, p 448) When examining the dynamics of Chinese immigrant families, ethnicity and immigration experiences should be integrated. Future research could explore within group variations of Chinese grandparents in the U.S., including their social economic status (SES) in China and in the U.S., educational background, and community environment (Iwamasa & Sorocco, 2002). Studies could also explore the differences across ethnic groups, including Asian gr andparents in the U.S., grandpa rents of other ethnic groups in the U.S., and White American grandparents. This study only addressed gender in a basic way, looking at grandfathers and grandmothers on sele cted variables. Future studies could do much more on gender differences, especial ly based on a larger sample. Multiculturalists propose that social institutions and structures influence an individuals opportunities and identities (De Reus, Few & Blume, 2005). The U.S. society emphasizes

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93 independence and the importance of the husband-wife relationship over others, while Chinese society values interdependence and accentuates the parent-child relationship (Lin & Liu, 1993). Filial piety, a cultural value strongl y influencing intergenerational relationships in China, has no structural and institutional suppor t in the U.S. (Lin & Liu, 1993). Furthermore, the multicultural movement has shifted from respecting differences to a critical analysis of power relationships asso ciated with multiple id entities (McDowell & Fang, 2007). Chinese grandparents in the U.S. are le ss acculturated than th eir adult children. They might have less power than adult children in the family. Future research could explore more about power in the co-resident family and the id entity of Chinese grandparents in the U.S. Rethinking Data from Multicultural Lens From the perspective of the multicultural framework, Chinese grandparents raising grandchildren can be regarded w ithin the context of Chinese culture and elder sojourning. In the following section I reflect on the study findings in terms of cultural and environmental contexts affecting sojourning Chinese grandparents. Regarding Chinese culture Chinese culture is rooted in Confucia nism (Hsui, 1972; Lam, 1997). In order to understand the phenomenon of Chinese grandparents caring for grandchildren in the U.S., there is a need to understand Chinese culture and th e impacts of Confucian philosophy on family life. Chinese culture is characterized by collectiv ism (Hsu, 1972; Ho, 1979). In contrast to the individualism embedded in Western cultures, Chinese individuals ar e taught to value interpersonal relationships more than persona l needs. Chinese people tend to be more situational-centered and socia lly or psychologically dependent on others than Americans (Hsu, 1972, p. 10). Lam (1997) suggeste d that this practice is root ed in the Chinese collective agricultural economy and Confucian teachings on social interactions. Ac cording to Confucian

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94 thinking, the individual is not an isolated entity; instead, the individual play s a specific role in relation to others (Hwang, 1999; Lam, 1997). Chinese familism, which emphasizes family relationships, is the central part of Chinese culture (Wu & Tseng, 1985). The family is the funda mental unit of Chinese society that typically serves all an individuals social needs; in fact, it is hard to find a non-kinship organization or association to meet individual needs (King & Bound, 1995). According to important work by Lau (1981), Chinese familism includes orientati on toward family as a collective entity, identification with family (p.977) and individual responsibilities and obligations to the family. These ideal affect relationships among family members. There are more frequent exchange between generations and family members in Chinese families, and Chinese parents are less likely to encourage behavioral autonomy than American parents (Lam, 1997). Chinese parents take great interest in the children throughout their lives (Chao, 1983, p.71). For example, the transition of having a new born baby might be a symbol of independence from parents in Western culture as a couple begins their own nuclear family. However, in Asian culture, the goal of this transition is not for the individuals separation fo r his or her parents. Rather, grandparents will always help their children go through transitions (Lebra, 1994). Furthermore, the adult children remain an integral part of their family of origin throughout their lives (Lam, 1997). It is not surprising then, in the context of Ch inese familism, that grandparents felt a strong obligation to help raise grandchildren. In Chin ese collective culture, olde r people derive meaning in life largely from their contribution to fa mily members and the community (Mjelde-Mossey, Chi & Lou, 2006). They also enjoy happiness from grandchildren and from a reunion with their

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95 adult children. It is a family happiness (tian lun zhi le) for Chinese people to be with grandchildren. The intergenerational relationship in the Chin ese family is imbued with the doctrine of filial piety (Chao, 1983), a cornerst one of Confucianism and a build ing block of familism. Filial piety is generally regarded as obe dience, respect and affection toward parents. It is regarded as the root of virtue and morality (Chao, 1983); a pe rson who does not show fili al piety to his or her parents is viewed as immoral. Accompanying filial piety, there is authoritarian relationship in the family and society where parents and superiors are at a higher level in the power hierarchy. However, the Confucian ethic also encourages mutual affection between parents and children. One Confucian axiom states, a kind father makes a filial son (Chao, 1983). In this study, the affection and love of the grandparents to their ad ult children is consistent with the teaching of filial piety. Moreover, family is a diachronic co ncept for Chinese people; Chinese grandparents giving help with child care is a prac tice of filial piety to their ancestors. At the same time, this study showed that adult children still practi ced the norm of filial piety to their parents, includi ng providing material and emoti onal support. Their filial piety might be following Chinese tradition because th ey were educated by th eir parents and teachers about filial concepts from a young age, and it also could be reciprocal as a way to show their gratitude to their elder parents for their efforts in raising them and caring for their children (Yeh & Bedford, 2003). These findings of keeping traditional norms echo with research on the willing practice of filial piety among one-child generations in China (Zhan, 2004). That research suggests that the culture of filial piety is not de clining and the one-child generation still firmly keeps the tradition. However, other research suggests that relations between Chinese grandparents and adult children seem to be beco ming more egalitarian, as adult children gain

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96 access to higher education and adopt Western id eologies (Chen & Silverstein, 2000). This study also shows that grandparents may be turning over power to their adult children in the co-resident family. Another important aspect of Chinese culture based on Confucian teachings is an emphasis on education and regarding it as a way to acquire personal advancement, higher social status, wealth and respect (Lin & Fu, 1990, p. 430). Fr om a traditional perspective, being successful is not only a personal issue but also a family i ssue (Yau & Smetana, 1996). Success brings glory to the whole family, while not being successful c ould bring disgrace to the Chinese family (Lin & Fu, 1990). In Chinese utilitarian modern society, people with a high education, a high standard of living, and a privileged position are regarded as being a success. The adult children of the participants in this study were doctoral students or post doctoral fellows, clearly on the way to success by Chinese standards. The grandparents felt a strong obligation to relieve their adult children from child care so they could spend more time on their work or studies and achieve success. Furthermore, achievement is the highest form of filial piety, as it honors the parents and ancestors; the less is not to disgrace oneself and th e least is to be able to support parents (Chao, 1983). From this perspective, Chin ese grandparents involvement in caring for grandchildren is a way to help adult childre n practice filial piety. With the modernization of Chinese society, the differences between Chinese families and Western families appear to be diminishing, but th e above aspects of Chinese culture will remain and probably continue to be the distinguishing characte ristics of Chinese cu lture (Philips et al, 1998). Regarding sojourning status The Chinese grandparents in m y study encount ered many changes during their stay in a new country as they cared for grandchildren. They would usually stay in the U.S. less than one

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97 year before going back to China. Language barr iers and different livi ng styles might be the biggest intercultural stressors for elder sojourner. At the same time, they enjoyed the natural and social environmental advances in the U.S. and these might be related to their well-being in a positive way. The Chinese grandparents in this study were in the U.S. temporarily. They had a chance to enjoy their respected status and f eel filial piety from their adult children, then returned to their well-regarded status in China. In contrast, older Chinese immigrants do not necessarily live together with their adult children or enjoy a pr ivileged status in the U.S. society (Gee, 2000). Both the grandparents and the adult childre n in my study are sojourning in a foreign country. Most of the adult children of the part icipants were students or held postdoctoral positions at a University. The adult children did no t have stable status in the new country. They lived in apartments; their living standard is co mparatively low and they face the dilemma of whether stay in the U.S. or go back to China. Thus the sojourning adul t childrens current life could be a concern for their parents. On the other hand, Chinese immigrant families may have a more stable financial situation and grandparents visiting immigran t children may not be worried a bout adult childrens financial issues. However, there may be more intergener ational conflicts, espe cially with teenage grandchildren who are adop ting western lifestyles. Among Chinese sojourning grandparents visiting sojourning adult children, sojourning grandparents visiting immigrant adult children and Chinese elder immi grants, the first group faces the greatest risk on medical issues as they are least likely to purchase medical insurance due to their expected short stay in the U.S. and their adult childrens low income. They cant

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98 benefit from governmental medical services because as they do not have stab le status in the U.S. If they have a serious health problem, it co uld be a traumatic for the whole family. Limitations Methodological Considerations This study used a cross-sectional design. The m a jor limitation of a cross-sectional design is that it cant provide informati on about change over time (De Vaus, 2001). The length of time of grandparents stay in the U.S. at the time of the interviews varied from one month to one and half years. A longitudinal study desi gn is suggested for future research to examine the changes in Chinese grandparents well-being du ring their stay in the U.S. Nearly all participants repor ted that they lived in harmony with adult children and no participants reported family conflicts. One reas on might be that the st udy was based on selfreport and Chinese elder parents we re reluctant to reveal conflicts in an interview. Chinese culture values harmony, and Chin ese people tend to avoid and i gnore situations where there is conflict, whereas North Americans generally tr y to find ways to resolve conflicts (Chiu & Kosinski, 1994). In addition, the r ecording equipment might be a barr ier to self-disclosure for the participants, adding to their discom fort about revealing pe rsonal situations. It would be beneficial in future research to combine observational methods with persona l interviews to uncover their family conflicts. Researchers that become part of the community where the participants are located and build a good relationship with th em before conducting interview, as with ethnographic or participant observation methods, w ill likely have more success in tapping into some of these concerns. Another potential problem is th at a self selection bias wa s operating whereby grandparents who got along with their children chose to come to the U.S., while those with conflictual relationships might have stayed for shorter periods of time or simply were unwilling to come to

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99 the U.S. Another limitation with the sample was that the study particip ants were gathered through referral sampling and the grandparents who had more social network linkages and support were reached, while those with fewer cont acts and lower well being might not have been reached. Thus, the participants were not representative of all Chinese sojourning grandparents. Moreover, the sample size of 30 people was comparatively small; a larger sample size is suggested for future studies. Moreover, there were limitations and challenges in using Western theory and research instruments with Chinese gra ndparents and these ma y have affected study results by not adequately tapping culturally-root ed factors affecting well-being. The results of studies of resilience in African American fa milies are instructive; these have shown that cultural factors, such as spiritual and collective coping were ju st as important as fam ily cohesion and social support (Utsey et al, 2007). The measures used in the quantitative portion in this research didnt tap into cultural factors that might affect the well-being of participants and this may have limited our understanding of well-being. For ex ample, cultural factors such as filial piety might be just as important as family cohesion for Chinese el der people. In addition, some scale items were difficult to translate into Chinese and appeared no t to be culturally relevant or valid for Chinese people. For instance, the items in the family cohe sion scale, Family members pair up rather than do things as a total family, sounded confusing fo r most participants af ter translation because there was lack of correspondent wo rds for pair up in Chinese. Also some items in the social support scale were too long and complex when tr anslated into Chinese. As a result, some participants were lost and asked me to explain when I read those items to them. In short, the existing scales based primarily on Western famili es may in practice be Eurocentric and may not

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100 be applied to wider, international audien ces (see Ungar & Liebenberg, 2005, for similar points).Culturally sensitive instruments are essential for cross-cultural research. Furthermore, the ABC-X family stress model looks at the whole family as a system. This study focused on individual grandparents as the unit of analysis instead of the family unit. However, and most importantly, the concepts fu rnished by the ABC-X model served as a useful guide for understanding stressors and coping. Despite these limitations, this research provide d a useful snapshot of Chinese sojourning grandparents lives in the U.S. and helped to fr ame their experiences in a cultural context. In addition, it brought out limitations in herent in the process of conduc ting cross-cultural work that researchers can take into account in the future. Recommendations for Future Research There is little previous research on Chinese sojourning people in the U.S., and is especially lim ited with regard to sojourning older adults in the U.S. a nd in comparison with the more permanent immigrant populations. It would also be beneficial to compare the different stressors and resources of social support of Chinese grandparents visiti ng sojourning adult children and immigrant adult children in the U.S. Second, as the phenomenon of Chinese grandpar ents raising grandc hildren intertwines with Chinese culture, cross cultural studies need to examine the role of cultural factors in relation to the well-being of Chinese people. It would be best to develop instruments for Asian and other non-Western cultures. For example, an instrument to tap filial piety needs to be created for future quantitative research on Chinese families. Besi des examining the universal factors (such as family cohesion), research on ethni c groups also need to explore the culturally sp ecific factors (Utsey et al, 2007). Importantly, qualitative studies provide a way of deeply understanding the mental health and related factors of ethnic groups (Ungar & Liebengerg, 2005).

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101 Furthermore, it would be interesting to discu ss the issue of Chinese grandparents raising grandchildren from the perspective of their adu lt children. Why did they i nvite elder parents to give help in raising grandch ildren? How do they benefit from grandparents presence? What kinds of difficulties or conflicts do they have in their family after their parents come to the U.S.? Whats their relationship with their parents? What do they think of the differences between paternal grandparents an d maternal grandparents? If they could choose one more time, would they still invite grandparents to give help? These interesting ques tions deserve future exploration to help better understand the Asian family experience in the U.S. In addition, it needs to be noted th at the majority of participants came to the U.S. with their spouses. Future research could examine the infl uence of spouses on the grandparents well-being. Other demographic factors such as grandparents education level and economic status could also be explored in the relatio ns to their well-being. Finally, the importance of geogra phic location should be pointed out for resources of social support of sojourning people. The study city is an urban area with a major state university. The participants all lived in the apartment complexes near campus, where it is easy to encounter Chinese people in their common living areas and outdoors, in courty ards and on playgrounds. Future research might compare the experiences of Chinese sojourners in large metropolitan areas with a large Chinese populati on, and smaller cities and rural areas with a small Chinese population. Implications for Practice As extended fa mily network and kin relationshi ps are vital to Chin ese families, both the elder parents and the adult children in co-resident families may benefit from culturally-sensitve family life education and perhap s counseling that facilitates the intergenerational relationship. For instance, adult childre n could be encouraged to show thei r love and support to elder parents.

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102 As most differences between Chinese grandpare nts and the adult child ren come from views about the correct way of rais ing grandchildren, educational programs on child rearing that facilitate intergeneration discus sions could target both Chinese a dult children and grandparents. Although social support from the community wa s not significantly related to Chinese grandparents well-being, friends and activities in the community were still important resources for them, keeping the grandparents occupied and en riching their lives. Data presented in Chapter 4 indicated that Chinese grandparents in the U. S. did not attend many act ivities. Practitioners could provide opportunities for Chin ese grandparents to interact w ith other Chinese elders in the Chinese community. Housing offices could consider offering or arranging culturally appropriate activities and planning Chinese cultural events and celebrations As most grandparents missed their group activities in China like dancing and taiji, and they have difficulties accessing transportation, such activiti es are suggested to be held in th e grandparents residential areas. Additionally, community programs c ould target Chinese families with activities involving all family members. Practitioners could facilitate Chinese grandparents perspective and encourage them to be less worried about the ad ult childrens current life and work, when these concerns become detrimental to their own well-be ing. Practitioners could also insp ire Chinese grandparents to use appropriate coping skills, such as gardening a nd exercising. Vegetable ga rdens could be provided near the apartment complexes where Chinese fam ilies live. Since medical care is a big concern for Chinese sojourning grandparents in the U.S., short term medical serv ices should be provided to the grandparents with the assistance of Chinese-speaking health care providers.

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103 APPENDIX A SELF-COMPLETED QUESTIONAIRE Part I How often do you have the following feeli ng or experience while you stay in the U.S? Please circle the answers that best describes how often you feel this way. 1= Never, 2=Rarely, 3=Occasionally, 4=Frequently, 5=Very frequently 1. Feel lonely. 1 2 3 4 5 2. Feel I have language barriers. 1 2 3 4 5 3. Feel at home. 1 2 3 4 5 4. Feel life is boring. 1 2 3 4 5 5. Feel isolated. 1 2 3 4 5 6. Feel inconvenienced to go around town by myself. 1 2 3 4 5 7. Feel uncertain using public transportation. 1 2 3 4 5 8. Feel inconvenienced by where grocery stores are located. 1 2 3 4 5 9. Feel adult children do not spend enough time with me. 1 2 3 4 5 10. Feel a loss of power wh ile living together with adult children. 1 2 3 4 5 11. Feel my coming to the U.S put more financial pressure to adult children. 1 2 3 4 5

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104 Part II Please indicate how strongly you agree or disagr ee with each of the following statement about your community and family. Please circle the answers that best de scribes your situation. 1=Strongly Disagree, 2=Di sagree, 3=Neutral, 4=Agree, 5=Strongly Disagree 1. If I had an emergency, even people I do not know in this community would be willing to help. 1 2 3 4 5 2. I feel good about myself wh en I sacrifice and give time and energy to members of my family. 1 2 3 4 5 3. The things I do for members of my family and they do for me make me feel part of this very important group. 1 2 3 4 5 4. People here know they can get help from the community if they are in trouble. 1 2 3 4 5 5. I have friends who let me know they value who I am and what I can do. 1 2 3 4 5 6. People can depend on each other in this community. 1 2 3 4 5 7. Members of my friend seldom listen to my problems or concerns; I usually feel criticized. 1 2 3 4 5 8. My friends in this community are a part of m y everyday activities. 1 2 3 4 5 9. There are times when family me mbers do things that make other members unhappy. 1 2 3 4 5 10. I need to be very careful how much I do for my friends because they take advantage of me. 1 2 3 4 5 11. Living in this community gives me a secure feeling. 1 2 3 4 5 12. The members of my family make an effort to show their love and affection for me. 1 2 3 4 5 13. There is a feeling in this community that people should not get too friendly with each other. 1 2 3 4 5

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105 1=Strongly Disagree, 2=Di sagree, 3=Neutral, 4=Agree, 5=Strongly Disagree 14. This is not a good community to bring children up in. 1 2 3 4 5 15. I feel secure that I am as important to my friends as they are to me. 1 2 3 4 5 16. I have some very close friends outside the family who I know really care for me and love me. 1 2 3 4 5 17. Member(s) of my family do not seem to understand me, I feel taken for granted. 1 2 3 4 5 Part III Please indicate how strongly you agree or disagree with each of the following statement about your family relationship. Circle the number that best describes your feelings. 1=Strongly Disagree, 2=Disagr ee, 3=Neutral, 4=Agree, 5=Strongly Disagree 1. Family members are supportive of each other during difficult times. 1 2 3 4 5 2. It is easier to discuss problems with people outside the family than with other family members. 1 2 3 4 5 3. Our family gathers together in the same room. 1 2 3 4 5 4. Our family does things together. 1 2 3 4 5 5In our family, everyone goes his/her ow n way. 1 2 3 4 5 6. Family members know each ot hers close friends. 1 2 3 4 5 7. Family members consult other family members on their decisions. 1 2 3 4 5 8. We have difficulty thinking of things to do as a family. 1 2 3 4 5 9Family members feel very close to each other. 1 2 3 4 5

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106 1=Strong Disagree, 2=Disagree, 3=Neut ral, 4=Agree, 5=Strong Disagree 10. Family members feel clos er to people outside the family than to other family members. 1 2 3 4 5 11. Family members go along with what the family decides to do. 1 2 3 4 5 12. Family members like to spe nd their free time with each other. 1 2 3 4 5 13. Family members avoid each other at home. 1 2 3 4 5 14. We approve of each others friends. 1 2 3 4 5 15. Family members pair up rather than do things as a total family. 1 2 3 4 5 16. Family members share interests and hobbies with each other. 1 2 3 4 5 Part IV How often in the past week did you have the following feeling? Please circle the number that best describe how you feel. 1=Never, 2=Rarely, 3=Occasionally, 4=Frequently, 5=Always. 1. I felt I had as much energy as before. 1 2 3 4 5 2. I felt I was less useful. 1 2 3 4 5 3. I felt I had a lot of fun in life. 1 2 3 4 5 4. I felt depressed. 1 2 3 4 5 5. I felt unhappy. 1 2 3 4 5 6. I felt I had nothing to do. 1 2 3 4 5 7. I was willing to have cont act with others. 1 2 3 4 5 8. I liked to be alone. 1 2 3 4 5 9. I became irritated. 1 2 3 4 5

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107 Part V Demographic questions: 1. What is your age? A. younger than 50 years old B. 50-59 years old C. 60 years old and above D. 70-79 years old E. 80 or above 2. What is your sex? A. Male B Female 3. What is your education level? A. Less than high school B. High school C. Three years college D. Four years University E. Graduate degree 4. Where are you come from? A. Rural China B. Urban China 5. Do you come together with your spouse or by yourself? A. With spouse B. By myself 6 Are you paternal grandparent or maternal grandparent? A. Paternal grandparent B. Maternal grandparent 7. How many times have you been in the U.S before? A. I never been in the U.S before. B. I have been in the U.S once before I came this time. C. I have been in the U. S twice before I came this time. D. I have been in the U.S three times before I came this time. E. I have been in the U.S more th an three times before I came this time. 8 What is or are the age and gender of the grandchildren you are taking care of? Grandchildren Age Gender 1 2 3 4

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108 9. What is annual income in adul t childrens households who currently live together with you? A. Below $ 10,000 B. $ 10, 001-20,000 C. $ 20,001-30,000 D. $ 30,001-40,000 E. Above $ 40,000 F. I dont know 10. Which village do you live currently? A. Maguire/UVS B. Diamond C. Corry D. Tanglewood E. Sun island F. Others

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109 APPENDIX B INTERVIEW QUESTIONS 1) Why did you com e to the U.S.? 2) Tell me a little about the household you liv e in the U.S (adult children and the grandchildren). 3) What do you think and feel about your life in the U.S.? 4) What difficulties and inconveniences you have in your life in the U.S? 5) What pleasures do you have? 6) What do you do to take care of your grandchildren? 7) What difficulties do you have in taking car e of your grandchildren in the U.S? 8) How do you feel about the responsib ility of raising grandchildren? 9) What do you usually do with your friends here? 10) How important are these friends important for your life here? 11) What kinds of activities do you attend here? 12) How are these important to your life here? 13) How do you get along with your adult children? Can you descri be your relationship with the adult childr en you live with? 14) What kinds of differences do you ha ve with your adult children? 15) What are the different opinions you have on rearing grandchildren? 16) How do you feel about the differences with your adult children? 17) Did you have any health problems when you come here? What were those health problems? 18) Do you have health insurance? Do you worry about this? 19) What did you expect your adult childrens lif e to be like before you came to the U.S.? 20) How do you feel about thei r current quality of life? 21) How do you feel about their work or study in the U.S.?

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110 22) What do you feel about the adult childrens future? 23) In general, what are your f eelings about being in the U.S? 24) Is there anything else affec ting your well-being in the U.S.?

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119 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Li W u received her bachelors degree in journalism and communication from Xiamen University in China in 2002. Li Wu came to the U.S. together with her husband in 2004. She will receive her master of science in family, yout h and community sciences from University of Florida in May 2008. After graduation, she plans to work in non-profit field in Asian countries, helping families and children in adversity.