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AARP Multicultural Survey July 2001

United States. Additionally, many are immigrants whose parents live overseas and are therefore incapable of assisting with child care.

Yet Asian Americans’ expectations for the relationships between children and elders are the most extensive of any ethnic culture surveyed for this report. For example, three-fourths say children in their families should care for their elders, whereas only half of other older boomers agree.

Asian Americans work hard to meet those high expectations, making far more effort than do other Americans. More than 40 percent provide time-consuming forms of personal or financial care. Despite such commitment, however, Asian Americans still, as noted earlier, express the most guilt over not doing enough. Little wonder, then, that this segment of the sandwich generation reports the most care-related stress.

Non-Hispanic Whites constitute 75 percent of the sandwich generation and are the least likely to be caught feeling squeezed between the surrounding generations. Whites are more likely to be in the sandwich generation but do not help with care, or feel as stressed, as other races. These mostly suburban members are the most apt to live with only a spouse, and they are also the most optimistic.

This positive outlook is manifested in the finding that older white boomers dream of retirement, more leisure, and more focus on their families. Alternatively, other Americans most look forward to a better personal economic situation.

White members of the cohort carry over their optimistic attitude toward the next generation. Only 20 percent want their own children to take care of them, whereas between 30 and 40 percent of the other groups agree.

Whites are also the least likely to provide care for their elders. Nineteen percent help care for or help financially support their parents, in-laws, or other older relatives, compared with 28 percent of African Americans, 34 percent of Hispanics, and 42 percent of Asian Americans. And, of all the groups interviewed for this survey, older white boomers report the least stress and guilt about their roles as caregivers.

Prepared for AARP by Belden Russonello & Stewart and Research/Strategy/Management Page 9

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