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Responsibility to the family transcends individuals' personal c Oncerns (Shon and Ja 1982).

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Traditional Chinese society has a collectivist orientation that endorses the family, not the individual, as the major unit of society (Lee 1982).

Individuals' identities are defined in terms of their roles and interpersonal relationships within the family rather than by their own sense of self or who they are (Hsu 1971).

The structure and size of Chinese families in Australia tend to be more in line with the trend in contemporary urban Chinese societies, for example Hong Kong, China, Singapore and Taiwan, which favour small nuclear families (Da 1993; Tanphanich 1988; Duan-Mu 1994; Wong 1975).

Some Chinese families in Australia may have elderly grandparents living under the same roof, but it is relatively uncommon for adult siblings with offspring to share the same dwelling.

During the 1980s the most dramatic rate of growth in immigration to Australia came from those born in Taiwan (Khoo et al. From the mid-1980s to 1993 Hong Kong and China were among the top ten source countries; In the four year period from 1989 to 1993 Hong Kong was second only to the United Kingdom as a source of immigrants (see also BIR 1992b).

The significant increase in ethnic Chinese immigrants in Australia was reflected in 1991 census figures (BIPR 1993b; Ho 1994), which ranked China as the ninth most common place of birth for Australians (0.5 per cent of the population) and Hong Kong the fifteenth place (0.3 per cent of the population).

There are relatively few single-parent and blended families in both contemporary overseas Chinese communities and Australian-Chinese communities.

However, a recent phenomenon in Australia is an increasing number of 'split' Chinese families from Hong Kong and Taiwan, coinciding with Australia's economic recession in the early 1990s (Wong 1993; Kee and Skeldon, in press).

Some eventually stayed and had children with Australian women.

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