Chinese grandparents and their adult children in the United States
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The purpose of this dissertation was to investigate Chinese grandparents’ relationships with their adult children, including grandparents’ level of involvement in their adult children’s parenting practices, and its possible influence on grandparents’ well-being in the United States. The well-being and involvement of grandparents were defined by the family members. More specifically, this dissertation included a review of literature and two publishable manuscripts. The first manuscript explored the stories of Chinese grandparents temporarily residing with or near their adult children in a southern region of the United States and their relationships with their adult children. This qualitative study, informed by social constructionism and narrative theories, created space for family members’ narratives of their interactions and the meaning ascribed to family relations. This project also investigated the impact of philosophical traditions and cultural contexts on Chinese intergenerational relationships. Data indicated a positive relationship between grandparents’ relationships with their adult children and their family-defined well-being. The second manuscript investigated grandparents’ involvement in their adult children’s parenting practices in a southern region of the United States. The involvement was family defined and included different kinds of services, conversations, and interactions between family members (regarding adult children’s parenting). Tenets of ethnography were chosen as the methodology (Creswell 2007; Schensul, Schensul, & LeCompte, 1999), social constructionism (Crotty, 1998) as the epistemology, and narrative theory (Bruner, 1990; White, 1981) as the theoretical perspective. Attention was given to the cultural, familial, and individual beliefs as well as the context factors that influenced this involvement. The findings revealed the families’ life stories and indicated a positive relationship between grandparents’ involvement and their family-defined well-being. Furthermore, conclusions and recommendations for future research were provided at the end of this work.