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Clarifying and measuring filial concepts across five cultural groups


  • We would like to acknowledge Dr. Mark Haviland at Loma Linda University and Dr. Judith Stein at the University of California Los Angeles for critiquing earlier versions of this study. We also acknowledge doctoral students Deanna Stover, Laura Chandler, Debra Barrath, Myrna Dial, Liane Hewitt, Devan Romero, and Shih-Fan Lin for their assistance with data collection. Copies of the final form of the Filial Values Index and the full factor loading matrix are available from the first author.


Literature on responsibility of adult children for aging parents reflects lack of conceptual clarity. We examined filial concepts across five cultural groups: African-, Asian-, Euro-, Latino-, and Native Americans. Data were randomly divided for scale development (n = 285) and cross-validation (n = 284). Exploratory factor analysis on 59 items identified three filial concepts: Responsibility, Respect, and Care. Confirmatory factor analysis on a 12-item final scale showed data fit the three-factor model better than a single factor solution despite substantial correlations between the factors (.82, .82 for Care with Responsibility and Respect, and .74 for Responsibility with Respect). The scale can be used in cross-cultural research to test hypotheses that predict associations among filial values, filial caregiving, and caregiver health outcomes. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 34:310–326, 2011