Vietnamese Refugee Elderly Women and Their Experiences of Social Support: A Multiple Case Study

Sherry C. Wang, John W. Creswell, Dau Nguyen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study sought to address the gaps in the literature on Asian American gerontology with a multiply marginalized group in terms of gender, immigration status, and context. Guided by a multiple case study approach, we sought to explore how social support was experienced by four Vietnamese elderly refugee women residing in different living arrangements (i.e., alone, with spouse, with adult children, or in a multigenerational household). Within-case analyses were conducted to yield descriptive information about each individual. Additionally, three overarching themes emerged across each of the living arrangements: (1) Burden of care-taking, (2) Distinguishing family from nonfamily help, and (3) Ambivalence toward government-sponsored services. Our findings provide a contextualized understanding of social support to explain the inconsistencies that have been found in the literature on Asian American gerontology and family support. The benefits of living alone are described, along with the potential risks of coresidency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)479-496
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology
Volume32
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017

Keywords

  • Community health
  • Living arrangement
  • Older adults
  • Refugees
  • Social support
  • Vietnamese American
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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