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Title: The blessings and the curses of filial piety on dignity at the end of life : lived experience of Hong Kong Chinese adult children caregivers
Authors: Chan, CLW
Leung, PPY
Chochinov, HM
Neimeyer, RA
Pang, SMC 
Tse, DMW
Keywords: Chinese
End of life
Family caregiving
Filial piety
Issue Date: 2012
Source: Journal of ethnic and cultural diversity in social work, 2012, v. 21, no. 4, p. 277-296 How to cite?
Journal: Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Diversity in Social Work 
Abstract: This study critically examines the evolving nature of filial piety and the role that it plays in the contemporary experience of "living and dying with dignity" among Hong Kong Chinese families facing the end of life. Meaning-oriented interviews were conducted with a purposive sample of 15 adult-children caregivers, ages 30 to 62, to elicit their narratives and stories in caring for a dying elderly parent. Qualitative content analysis reveals that although traditional filial beliefs provided motivation for family caregiving, the regrets of unfulfilled filial responsibilities create emotional distance between parents and adult children, which acts as a cultural barrier for reconciliation and contentment at life's final margin. These findings underscore the importance of intergenerational dynamics and interactions in the transformation of filial attitudes and behaviors, highlighting the importance of reciprocal relationships (versus authority relationship), mutual support (versus complete obedience), compassionate duty (versus obligatory duty), emotional connection (versus task fulfillment), and appreciation and forgiveness (versus guilt and shame) in the promotion of dignity at the end of life. Policy and clinical implications are discussed.
ISSN: 1531-3204
DOI: 10.1080/15313204.2012.729177
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