Older Chinese-American Immigrants' Living Arrangements

Thursday, 15 July 2010: 10:30 AM

Shu-Li Chen, PhD, RN
Janet W. Brown, PhD, RN
College of Nursing, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN

Learning Objective 1: identify the circumstances related to older Chinese American immigrants’ residential decisions.

Learning Objective 2: recognize the experiences, perspectives, thoughts, and feelings related to older Chinese American immigrants’ residential decisions

Purpose: The purpose of this national study is to better understand older Chinese American immigrants’ living arrangements through integration of both quantitative and qualitative data.

Methods: A theory-based mixed method research design with concurrent strategies of inquiry is used with the specific aim of answering two research questions. (1) What are the personal and environmental factors related to older Chinese immigrants’ living arrangements, and (2) What are older Chinese American immigrants’ experiences, feelings, and thoughts about their living arrangements? Telephone interviews are used to collect both quantitative and qualitative data concurrently from a purposive nationwide sample of 33 older Chinese American immigrants.

Results: Data collection was recently completed, and data analysis is ongoing. Descriptive statistics will be used to answer the first quantitative research question; content analysis will be used to answer the second qualitative research question. The findings will be available by June 2010. This research study also provides information about the most effective and efficient ways to recruit and retain older Chinese American immigrants as research participants. Recruitment announcements for this study were placed in several carefully selected Chinese newspapers with nationwide print circulation in the U.S. for a one-month period. The effectiveness and efficiency of this method was evident when we received 108 phone calls from 18 states across all five regions of the U.S.; 98 of those phone calls (91%) were placed within two months of announcing the pilot study.

Conclusion: Understanding gained from this study will aid older Chinese American immigrants, their families, healthcare professionals, and policymakers in identifying ways to support the residential needs of this unique population. It may also allow researchers to utilize this knowledge to plan, implement, and support linguistically appropriate and culturally sensitive residential initiatives for older Chinese American immigrants to promote healthy aging.