Document Type


Date of Original Version



Sociology and Anthropology


As a direct expression of filial piety, adult children, in particular sons, are expected to provide support to older parents in China. Despite concerns about a decline in traditional values, few empirical studies examine whether adherence to Confucian family values impacts adult children’s financial support of aging parents, or if other factors play a more central role. In the present study, I assess several categories of factors including filial piety, altruism, long-term reciprocity, and contemporary mutual exchange. Survey data from the 2002 wave of the Chinese Survey of Family Dynamics (CSFD) (N = 3768) was utilized. For both sons and daughters, agreement with filial piety values, parents’ education level and help with housework were associated with greater likelihood of economic support. For daughters, those with young children (under 18) were less likely to support parents. Among sons, those who received support from parents earlier in the life course (a wedding gift) were more likely to provide financial transfers.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Journal of Population Ageing