Filial piety obligations and the lived experience of Korean female caregivers of aging parents-in-law in Canada

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Do, Eun Kyeong
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This study examined, through a narrative phenomenological framework, the experiences of Korean female caregivers in Canada, and the ways in which filial piety obligations affected their quality of life. The existing literature is scarce on information about caregiving by Korean females in both North America and Canada. Further, caregiving issues regarding caregiving stress have mostly investigated the medical aspects. It was crucial, therefore, to investigate and understand the social aspects of the caregiving experience. Korean daughters-in-law (DILs), who lived with their aging parents-in-law (PILs) in environments profoundly rooted in Confucian values, experienced conflicts with their parents/mothers-in-law. A number of caregiving hardships were identified and categorized according to the following two themes: cultural obligations and direct caregiving practices. Some DILs’ caregiving hardships were heavier when they moved to Canada and adopted a new culture. The findings of this study show that the caregiving practices of these Korean female caregivers in Canada are changing as the DILs have been influenced by their new environment, but the findings also demonstrate that the DILs are still strongly affected by the traditional cultural values in which they were raised. This study investigated their attitudes and behaviours of these women in their caregiving roles by employing a qualitative research design. As little research has been done on immigrant women’s caregiving experience, this study provides an important contribution by examining the lived experience of immigrant women as it is affected by the traditional cultural value of filial piety.
Filial Piety, Caregiving, Korean immigrants, Confucian principles, Cultural obligations, Feminist approach, Narrative phenomenology framework, Daughter-in-law's coping strategies, Aging parents-in-law, Observing care from childhood, Direct caregiving practices, Canadian contexts regarding Korean caregiviers