By Meaghan Hardy
Leading scholars from China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and the United States convened May 6-7 on the USC campus to discuss the changing role of filial relationships in elder care as a result of the one-child policy’s effects on family structure in China.
Sponsored by the USC Edward R. Roybal Institute on Aging, the “Intergenerational Family Support for Chinese Older Adults: New Perspectives on Chinese Culture and Society” conference was a joint project of the USC School of Social Work, the USC Davis School of Gerontology and the USC U.S.-China Institute to provide a look at new research on population aging in China, a major policy issue facing Asian nations in the 21st century.
“China will have one of the world’s oldest populations by mid-century,” noted conference director Iris Chi, who holds the Chinese-American Golden Age Association/Frances Wu Chair for the Chinese Elderly and oversees the School of Social Work’s China program. “Reductions in family size have lessened the availability of adult children, who currently serve as the backbone of the elder-support system.”
Chi said that leaves less time for China to develop the infrastructure necessary to adapt to its aging population and unprecedented societal demands.