With population structure aging swiftly, caring for elderly in Taiwan is not only a significant social issue but also a difficult task in every family. Cicirelli (1988) firstly proposed the concept of filial anxiety to describe the pressure adults demanded for caring their aging parents. However, Cicirelli at that time adopted attachment system, but not filial piety ethics in Chinese culture (xiao), to explain the mechanism of adult children’s filial anxiety. Although the relationship between filial piety ethics and Chinese adult children’s filial anxiety is intuitive, there are rarely empirical studies to investigate the mechanism of filial piety ethics are synchronous and distinct from that of attachment system. The purpose of this research is to discover the different mechanisms between the perspective of attachment theory adopted by Cicirelli and the filial piety ethics in Chinese culture. The findings will be helpful for discovering the relevance and difference between western attachment psychology theory and Chinese cultural filial piety ethics. This research recruit adult children as participants who are over 40 years old with at least one of their parents over 65 years old. At the beginning the pilot study was conducted with the total of 194 and 206 data collected from the questionnaire of father- and mother-version respectively. In the main study the total valid data of 470 and 521 collected from the questionnaire of father- and mother-version respectively were analyzed with structural equation modeling. The results showed the following findings: First, both adult participants’ early experience of secure attachment interaction with parents and the extent to which they have received parental social support resources have a significant positive effect on their affection-relevant filial anxiety (ARFA) but a significant negative effect on their resource-relevant filial anxiety (RRFA). These findings support Cicirelli's explanation of adult children’s filial anxiety with the perspective of attachment theory. Second, by adding the variables reciprocal filial piety belief (RFPB) and authoritarian filial piety belief (AFPB) as two antecedent variables, adult participants’ identification of RFPB was found a significant positive effect on their ARFA. And the negative effects of adult participants’ early experience of secure attachment interaction with parents and the extent to which they have received parental social support resources were still significant on their RRFA. These findings revealed the mechanism on Chinese adults’ filial anxiety might be different between filial piety ethics and attachment system. Third, adult participants’ identification of RFPB and AFPB contributed to the extent of their gratitude affection to parents, committed compliance, and relating autonomy toward parents, which subsequently positively related to their ARFA but negatively related to their RRFA. And adult participants’ identification of RFPB and AFPB contributed to the extent of their situational compliance toward parents, which subsequently positively related to both their ARFA and RRFA. Last, the findings abovementioned were different among the results from father-son, father-daughter, mother-son, and mother-daughter data. These inconsistent findings highlighted the importance of the different natures among these four intergenerational relationships. These findings are hoped to provide reference for professional consultants and family life educators.
|Effective start/end date||2018/08/01 → 2019/09/30|
- filial anxiety
- attachment experience
- filial piety ethics
- relating autonomy
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