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The Nature of Support from Adult Sansei (Third Generation) Children to Older Nisei (Second Generation) Parents in Japanese Canadian Families


  • Karen M. Kobayashi


Given the growing ethnocultural diversity of Canada's aging population and the increased research focus on the role of the family in the social support of older persons, it is important to explore the ways in which adult ethnic minority children provide assistance to older parents within the context of the family. The current study contributes to research on intergenerational support systems in later life in Japanese Canadian families by examining the factors, particularly the cultural value of oya koh koh (filial obligation), affecting the nature of support from adult children to older parents. Using data gathered from interviews with 100 older nisei (second generation) parents and 100 adult sansei (third generation) children in British Columbia, the study focuses on the frequency, quality and provision of three types of support: emotional, service, and financial. Results of logistic regression analyses indicate that oya koh koh has a significant effect on children's provision of emotional support, but no effect on financial or service support. Parent's health and socioeconomic status are found to have significant effects on children's provision of financial and service support. Child's availability is also a major determinant of financial support. Further, ordinary least squares (OLS) regression analyses results suggest that oya koh koh has a significant effect on the quality of emotional support provided by children to their parents. Findings are discussed in terms of the North American Asian "ideal" family myth and directions for future research.

Suggested Citation

  • Karen M. Kobayashi, 2000. "The Nature of Support from Adult Sansei (Third Generation) Children to Older Nisei (Second Generation) Parents in Japanese Canadian Families," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 18, McMaster University.
  • Handle: RePEc:mcm:sedapp:18

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jong-Il Kim & Lawrence J. Lau, 1996. "The sources of Asian Pacific economic growth," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 29(s1), pages 448-454, April.
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    More about this item


    family support; filial obligation; intergenerational relations; Japanese Canadian; model minority myth;

    JEL classification:

    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure

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