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End-of-Life Family Caregiving for Older Parents in China’s Rural Anhui Province*

  • Dongmei Zuo (a1) (a2), Shuzhuo Li (a1) (a2), Weiyu Mao (a3) and Iris Chi (a3)


This study examined correlates of caregiving at the end of life provided by adult children to their older parents and the role of gender of adult children in family caregiving in rural China. Data came from five waves of the Longitudinal Study of Rural Elder’s Well-Being in Anhui Province, China, over 12 years and from a post-mortality survey. Hierarchical linear modeling was used. Findings demonstrated that the birth order of adult children, prior geographic distance, and prior intergenerational support exchange were significantly associated with family caregiving at the end of life. Eldest children, compared to other siblings, provided the most end-of-life caregiving to their parents. Children cohabitating with older parents before death provided the most caregiving, compared to other siblings. Adult children who had previously exchanged instrumental support with older parents before death, especially sons, tended to provide the most caregiving, compared with that by others, at end of life.

Cette étude a examiné les corrélats de la prestation de soins de la fin de vie fournis par les enfants adultes à leurs parents âgés et le rôle du sexe des enfants adultes en soins familiaux dans la Chine rurale. Les données proviennent de cinq vagues de l'Étude longitudinale du bien-être des personnes âgées en milieu rural dans la province de l'Anhui, en Chine, pendant 12 ans, et d'une enquête post-mortalité. On a utilisé la modélisation linéaire hiérarchique . Les résultats ont montré que l'ordre de naissance des enfants adultes, la distance géographique antérieure, et l'échange du soutien intergénérationnel antérieur étaient significativement associés à la prestation de soins de famille de la fin de vie. Les enfants les plus âgés, par rapport à d'autres frères et sœurs, fourni les plus grand soins de fin de vie pour leurs parents. Les enfants qui cohabitent avec les parents plus âgés avant leur mort, par rapport à d'autres enfants des mêmes parents, ont offert les plus grands soins. Les enfants adultes qui avaient déjà échangé le soutien instrumental avec les parents âgés avant la mort, en particulier les fils, tendaient à fournir le plus grands soins en fin de vie, par rapport à ceux d'autres.


Corresponding author

La correspondance et les demandes de tirés-à-part doivent être adressées à: / Correspondence and requests for offprints should be sent to: Dongmei Zuo, Ph.D. Institute for Population and Development Studies Xi’an Jiaotong University 28 West Xianning Road Xi’an Shaanxi Province, 710049 (


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The authors acknowledge the valuable editorial assistance from Eric Lindberg. We also thank the editor for the opportunity to revise and resubmit the article. We are also very grateful to the reviewers for their thoughtful comments. This research was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China Grant 71273205 and Humanity and the National Social Science Fund of China 14CRK003.



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End-of-Life Family Caregiving for Older Parents in China’s Rural Anhui Province*

  • Dongmei Zuo (a1) (a2), Shuzhuo Li (a1) (a2), Weiyu Mao (a3) and Iris Chi (a3)


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