Filial Support Behaviors: Associations With Filial Piety, Reciprocity and Parent-Child Contact in China

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filial support behaviors, filial piety, reciprocity, parent-child contact, Chinese


With the emphasis on children’s responsibility for the care of ageing parents, this study examined how Chinese adult children’s support provided to parents was associated with filial piety, support from parents and parent-child contact frequency. With the 2006 Chinese General Social Survey, we used structural equation modelling with 1,452 adults with two living parents and tested the model for sons and daughters separately. For both groups, the results showed that (1) filial piety was positively associated with emotional support provided to parents; (2) support received from parents was positively related to instrumental and emotional support to parents; and (3) parent-child contact frequency was linked to instrumental support. For adult daughters, financial support was positively associated with the support received from parents and negatively related to parent-child contact frequency. This study suggests that the traditional norm of filial piety may be less influential than other factors for adult children’s support behaviour.


This article was originally published as Kwangman, K., Su-Russell, C., Proulx, C. (2022). Filial support behaviors: Associations with filial piety, reciprocity, and parent-child contact in China. Families, Relationships and Societies, (Early View). https://doi.org/10.1332/204674321X16605783687158