Date of Award

January 2016

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


School of Public Health

First Advisor

Joan K. Monin


Purpose of the study: This article focuses on Chinese visiting grandparents who come to the US to help their adult children who are in graduate school care for the grandchild/ren. The aims were to determine: 1) what motivates them to come to the US, 2) what are the challenges and supports of life in the US, and 3) the implications of their experience in the US as caregivers for their well-being.

Design and Methods: The study uses a mixed-method design. Data were collected with quantitative surveys and qualitative interviews. 35 grandparents living near Yale University, New Haven were surveyed and 13 of them completed in-depth interviews.

Results: The grandparents in this sample were motivated to come to the US by their sense of obligation and concern for the offspring’s well-being and success. The biggest challenges they face are demands from obligations, and isolation due to the language barrier, the built environment, and disconnection to social support. Spouses and the Chinese community are two main sources of support for grandparents. They enjoy living together with their offspring, however, they express “doing their time” in the US. Their happiness and hope for life is the happiness and bright future of the offspring.

Implications: Our findings suggest developing and implementing culturally sensitive ways that policy makers or relevant organizations could help to support the Chinese visiting grandparents and their offspring in the US.


This is an Open Access Thesis.

Open Access

This Article is Open Access