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ABSTRACT. This study analyzes the unique datasets of the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey using logistic regression and controlling for various covariates. Our analyses clearly demonstrate that disabled older parents are more satisfied with care provided by daughters than sons and that older parents enjoy greater filial piety from and better relationships with daughters than sons. The daughter-advantages of enjoying greater filial piety from and better relationships with children are stronger among the oldest-old aged 80+ than the young-old aged 65–79, and surprisingly more profound in rural areas than urban areas, while son-preference is much more prevalent among rural residents. We also discuss why China’s rigorous fertility policy until October 2015 and much less-developed pension system in rural areas substantially contribute to sustaining traditional son-preference and a high sex ratio at birth (SRB) when fertility is low. We recommend China take integrative public health policy actions of informing the public that having daughter(s) is beneficial for old age care, developing the rural pension system and implementing the universal two-child policy as soon as possible. We believe that these policy actions would help to reduce son-preference, bring down the high SRB, and enable more future elderly parents to enjoy better care from their children and healthier lives. pp. 244–272

Keywords: filial piety; parent-child relation; elder care; son-preference; daughter-advantages; China

How to cite: Yi, Zeng, Linda George, Melanie Sereny Brasher, Danan Gu, and James W. Vaupel (2016), “Older Parents Enjoy Better Filial Piety and Care from Daughters than Sons in China,” American Journal of Medical Research 3(1): 244–272.

Received 18 February 2016 • Received in revised form 3 April 2016
Accepted 3 April 2016 • Available online 20 April 2016

doi:10.22381/AJMR3120169

ZENG YI 
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Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development 
and Geriatrics Division, Duke University;
Center for Healthy Aging and Development Study, 
Raissun Institute for Advanced Studies, 
National School of Development, Peking University 
(corresponding author)
LINDA GEORGE 
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Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development, 
Medical School of Duke University;
Department of Sociology, 
Duke University 
MELANIE SERENY BRASHER
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Department of Sociology & Anthropology, 
University of Rhode Island 
DANAN GU 
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Population Division, 
Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 
United Nations, New York 
JAMES W. VAUPEL
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Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research

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