Ethnic Background and Family Values : Attitudes of Senior Immigrants

Type of resource
Ethnic Background and Family Values : Attitudes of Senior Immigrants
The author points out that during the last fifty years, family life has noticeably changed in industrialized countries. Among many changes, she notes that it appears that there is a shift from a "family dominated" society to a more "individualistic" society where the concept of family loses its importance, family ties weaken, and elders lose their essential roles within the family because the continuity between generations in respect to family traditions and values is stopped. She points out that ethnic-elders have different expectations from their family members based on their ethnic-identity, family values, and the extent of their acculturation. These value differences might also influence the accessibility and provision of psycho-social services. Therefore, the purpose of the author’s cross-cultural study was to understand and compare different ethnic elders' expectations from their family members and from psychosocial service providers based on their concept of perception of family values. An instrument was designed for her study implementing a 4 point-scale and vignettes. Data were collected from Montreal seniors from South Asian (Sri-Lanka), Korean, Hungarian and Jewish communities and from a group of Social Worker (N = 94). She discovered that significant differences were found between group values: overall the Social Worker group was the most individualistic/non-traditional with the Jewish group next; the South Asians and Koreans were the most family-oriented/traditional; and these attitudes were the most different from those of the Social Workers. The author argues that these particularities have important implications for the delivery of social services.
Master's Thesis
McGill University
# of Pages
Makkay, Melinda. “Ethnic Background and Family Values : Attitudes of Senior Immigrants.” Master’s Thesis, McGill University, 2001.
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