Dilemmas of an Aging Society: Family and State Responsibilities for Intergenerational Care in Taiwan

Ju Ping Lin*, Chin Chun Yi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


In an aging society with a declining birthrate, there are more and more elderly to care for and fewer adult children to provide them care; these adult children, and the state, are forced to weigh the costs of eldercare against the cost of child care. In Taiwan, these dilemmas may be particularly acute, given the persistence of Confucian norms of filial piety and the extended family structures. In this study, we examine the attitudes of Taiwanese people toward the relative responsibilities of both adult children and the welfare state for eldercare and child care. Data were taken from the Taiwan Social Change Survey in 2011. Using latent class analysis to develop a typology of attitudes toward intergenerational care responsibilities, we found four types: (a) Family cares for elders and children, (b) family cares mainly for children, (c) cooperation between family and government, (d) government cares for the elderly. Findings show that an individual’s attitudes toward welfare state policies are significantly related to both self-interest and sociocultural norms as well as intergenerational family interactions. In Taiwan, filial norms and the quality of family interaction significantly influence attitudes toward the division of intergenerational care responsibilities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1912-1936
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Family Issues
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Oct 1


  • family care
  • filial piety
  • intergenerational care responsibility
  • intergenerational relations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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