Attitudes Toward Family Obligation Among Adolescents in Contemporary Urban and Rural China



A sense of obligation to support, assist, and respect the family was examined among approximately 700 urban and rural 10th- (M=16.6 years) and 12th- (M=18.9 years) grade students in the People's Republic of China. Urban male adolescents reported a weaker sense of family obligation than did rural male adolescents and both urban and rural female adolescents. Only children did not differ from those with siblings in terms of their attitudes toward family support and respect. A sense of family obligation was generally associated with more positive family relationships and a higher level of academic motivation among Chinese adolescents. Discussion focuses on how the shift to a market economy may influence adolescents' identification with the family in contemporary China.