Differences in filial behavior in multigeneration families that live together

Bi Su Liu, Chung Yi Li, Kuang Hui Yeh, Hui Chi Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Western values and culture have undermined concepts filial piety in Taiwan in recent decades. Extant literature has identified the strong influence of filial piety on the willingness of children to care for their parents when ill. Most elderly parents experience illness and suffer from various types and degrees of disabilities and thus need physical, psychological, social, and spiritual care. Less involvement by children in elderly care naturally impacts nursing care, social resource allocations, and economic support for disabled elderly. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate differences in filial piety in three-generation families who live together. Understanding children's filial piety behavior can help nurses understand their willingness to accept responsibility for parental care and can help nurses assist with arranging appropriate home or institutional care for elderly patients. Methods: The study used a cross-sectional research design and snowball sampling. The data set was collected in a township in Central Taiwan and involved 128 participants from 49 households. The questionnaires included demographics, filial piety affection, perceived filial self-efficacy, and filial behavior. Results: Predicted variables for filial behavior included the following: being a member of an older generation, marital status, having positive filial piety affection, and having positive perceived filial self-efficacy. This study found that adults in the youngest group (G3-2 subgroup) who received care and feeding three or more times a week from a grandparent when 0 to 6 years of age had higher scores for filial piety affection toward their parents than their youngest group peers (G3-1 subgroup). The G3-2 subgroup's parents also had higher positive scores for the Filial Piety Affection and Perceived Filial Self-efficacy scales relative to their own parents. Conclusions/Implications for Practice: Filial piety is a basic virtue and a traditional cultural value that is worth retaining. There is a need to give positive reinforcement to filial piety values through school education, better parenting, and development of good family relationships. Furthermore, government policy should work to encourage improved filial behavior in youth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-34
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Nursing Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Dec 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nursing(all)

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