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Cultural Predictors of Caregiving Burden of Chinese-Canadian Family Caregivers*

  • Daniel W.L. Lai (a1)


The growth of research knowledge on culturally diverse family caregivers for the aging population lags behind the increase of culturally diverse populations in Canada. This study examines the effects of culture, as manifested through cultural variables, on the caregiving burden of family caregivers in a Chinese-Canadian community. A random sample of 339 Chinese-Canadian caregivers for elderly relatives completed a telephone survey. Results of hierarchical stepwise multiple regression analysis reported the predicting effects of culture-related variables on caregiving burden. The findings indicated that being an immigrant, having a Western or non-Western religion as compared to having no religion, and having a lower level of filial piety, predicted a higher level of caregiving burden. Chinese tradition does not exempt the caregivers from being burdened. Policies and practices should address the needs of family caregivers according to the intra-cultural variations identified in this study.

Les communautés culturelles se font de plus en plus nombreuses au Canada, tandis que les connaissances sur la prestation de soins familiaux auprès des personnes âgées dans ces milieux ethniques différents stagnent. l'étude examine l'influence de la culture, qui s'exprime par certains paramètres, sur le fardeau des dispensateurs de soins familiaux dans une communauté canadienne d'origine chinoise. l'échantillon tiré au hasard comprend 339 Canadiens d'origine chinoise, dispensateurs de soins auprès d'un proche âgé, qui ont répondu à un sondage téléphonique. l'analyse de régression multiple hiérarchique rend compte de l'effet des paramètres culturels sur la lourdeur du fardeau des soins. Selon les constatations, le fait d'être un immigrant, de religion occidentale ou non, plutôt qu'athée, éprouvant peu de piété filiale sont des indicateurs prévisionnels d'un très lourd fardeau de soins. La tradition chinoise n'exempte pas le dispensateur de soins de son fardeau. Les politiques et les pratiques devraient combler les besoins des dispensateurs de soins familiaux en fonction des facteurs intraculturels précisés dans l'étude.


Corresponding author

Requests for offprints should be sent to:/Les demandes de tirés-à-part doivent être adressées à : Daniel W.L. Lai, Ph.D., Faculty of Social Work, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4. (


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Funding for this research was received from the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research. Completion of this manuscript was supported by the Hidden Costs and Invisible Contributions Project funded through the Major Collaborative Research Initiative Program of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. The author would also like to thank Jacqueline Berger, Wendy Leonenko, Phyllis Luk, and Grace Leung for their assistance in preparing this manuscript.



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