Date of Award


Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Bachelor of Social Science (Honours)


School of Psychology and Social Science


Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science

First Supervisor

Associate Professor Trudi Cooper


This study investigates the perceptions of first-generation Malay migrants from Singapore in Perth, Western Australia, who are caring for aged-parents at home. This research examines their interpretation of the Confucian concept of “filial piety” and how this influences their aged-caring. Using a social constructionism epistemology and interpretive phenomenological theoretical framework research methodology, data was collected through semi-structured indepth interviews, supplemented by observation of verbal and physical expressions. This research used purposive criterion sampling to achieve a culturally homogeneous sample. Results were analysed according to themes from previous findings, and newly identified themes. Among new themes discovered included a refined interpretation of Australian Malay carers’ subscription to the concept of filial piety. Contrary to previously reported research, this research found that carers provided care for their aged-parents to “filially serve” their parents and not to “repay” their parents’ kindness. Participants did not expect their own children to provide care for them at old age in contrast with participants’ parents’ expressed expectation to be physically cared for. This study found that participants felt disadvantaged when comparing themselves with their counterparts in Singapore. Even though additional support would have eased the burden of caring, these carers were unwilling to seek information about ageing challenges (including dementia), or outside help, because existing aged-care provision was not culturally sensitive or responsive; and because “dementia” was stigmatised in the Malay community. The outcome of this research has implications for the planning and provision of culturally responsive and sensitive aged-care policy and services, to assist the Singapore Malay population and other similar migrant populations with similar values, to provide care for their aged-parents. These results contribute to an understanding of the values of Singapore Malay carers’ living in Western Australia; and recommend culturally sensitive training and education about ageing processes, consequences and challenges.